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2011 Au Pair News Stories

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We bring you up-to-date news stories on the au pair industry that affect you, the consumer!   We publish consumer news that covers au pair agency press releases; costs increases & discounts; new agency program features; U.S. Department of State regulation changes; court cases & rulings program; and all news stories that highlight au pairs making the headlines.  

You heard it first, at AuPairClearinghouse, the Nation's only Consumer Information website that reports daily on the Au Pair industry!

 Click on a year below to view news stories:

2012    2011


Au Pair News Stories - December 2011

 

December 2011 - Secretary of State Hillary Clinton last week ordered a review of the J-1 student work visa program after Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents found the visa was being used for human trafficking.  (Associated Press, Dec. 7, 2011)  

On November 30, federal agents in New York arrested 25 mafia members from several families forillegally bringing in hundreds of women from Russia and Eastern Europe to the U.S. to dance and strip in New York clubs. (NY1, Nov. 30, 2011)

Homeland Security officials accused some of the suspects of helping the women obtain fraudulent work and travel visas. However, when the women got into the country, they were employed as strippers. (Id.) “Some were recruited as waitresses, some were told straight up what the situation was. Some were recruited from overseas through advertisements in foreign language newspapers throughout Russia and Eastern Europe, some were recruited from Facebook in Russia,” said James Hayes of the Department of Homeland Security. (Id.

Officials accused five men from Albany, Binghamton, and New Jersey of illegally marrying some of the women so that those women could apply for green cards to stay in the country. (Id.)

The J-1 visa was created in 1963 to allow students and au pairs from other countries to temporarily work and travel in the US.  (Associated Press, Dec. 7, 2011)  According to the State Department, “The J-1 Visa provides countless opportunities for international candidates looking to travel and gain experience in the United States.” The J-1 visa is known for allowing foreign nationals to enter the U.S. through various programs—as high school or college students, professors or scholars, Au Pairs and interns, among other things.  Depending on the program, these aliens may stay in the U.S. for periods ranging from a few weeks to several years.   (State Department, J-1 Visa Programs)  

Read the entire story


Au Pair News Stories - November 2011

Girl, 6, Killed In Driveway On Overbrook Road

Somerville first-grader struck by car; prosecutor says incident being treated as a "very bad accident."

By James Kleimann
November 14, 2011

A 24-year-old au pair will be issued a summons for careless driving for her role in the accident that claimed the life of six-year-old Kelly Creegan last week on Overbrook Road, police said.
The police department says Mirjam Kaiser of Ridgewood drove up the driveway of the house next door on Overbrook Road, crossing the small grass boundary between the two driveways and struck Creegan, who was playing with a friend in the driveway. Creegan's mother was on scene at the time of the accident, police say.

Investigators say Kaiser, a native of Germany who was the au pair for the family at 420 Overbrook, never saw Creegan.

Police have not pursued criminal charges at this time, Ridgewood Police Cpt. Jacqueline Luthcke said. The investigation, however, has not yet fully concluded, the captain said.

Source:  http://ridgewood.patch.com/articles/girl-6-killed-on-overbrook-avenue


Which au pair agencies recruit the best drivers?

Driving is an important, if not critical skill that your au pair should have. You can help ensure that your au pair drives well by researching au pair agencies and how they screen au pairs for driving skills.


Au Pair News Stories - October 2011

WILLAMETTE NEWS

October 26 2011 Shaw Healey/NEWS

In Unsafe Hands

After sex abuse charges, a Lake Oswego au pair agency denies placing a woman in harm’s way.

news2-usaupair_3751
She was 18 when she came to Oregon from Germany as an au pair and moved in with an Intel manager and his family in September 2010. She agreed to provide live-in child care so she could go to school and have an enriching cultural experience.

But the young woman says she instead fought off the host father when he touched her breasts and put his hand between her legs. She fled the house and told the police.

Read the entire news story


Courthouse News Service.  October 7 2011

PORTLAND, Ore. (CN) - A teen-age au pair from Germany claims a placement agency aided and abetted an employer who sexually assaulted her, and that the agency knew or should have known that he had done the same thing to two other women the agency had placed in his home.
     Amely Mae Conrad sued US Au Pair and Helene Young for fraud, negligence, sexual harassment and discrimination, sexual assault and battery, aiding and abetting and other charges, in Multnomah County Court.
     Conrad, 18, says she contacted US Au Pair after seeing it promote itself on its website "a 'U.S. State Department-designated sponsor'" for au pairs.
     During a 2-month process that included meetings with the defendants' partner in Germany, Munich Au Pair, Conrad says Young told her "she had found a wonderful family, the Guptas," for her to work with in the United States."
     Young told her that "the Gupta family had passed an extensive background check," and that "the Gupta family had had a few au pairs working with them in the past, there had been no problems reported, and the au pairs had enjoyed their experience of working for the Gupta family," according to the complaint.
     But Conrad says the latter statement is a lie, and Young should have known it - that US Au Pair had provided two other au pairs to the Guptas, both of whom were subjected to sexual advances by the father, Ashish Gupta.

Read the entire news story



Au Pair News Stories - August 2011

U.S. Senate Critical of Au Pair Cultural Exchange Program

U.S. Senator Mark Udall of Colorado supports the current criticism on the State Department to improve their regulation of the 50 year old foreign-exchange visitor program that includes the au pair cultural exchange allowing thousands of au pairs to arrive in America on the J1-Visa.

Why is there mounting pressure on the State Department? 

A recent report that reviews the ongoing problems with the 50 year old cultural exchange program that allows more than 350,000 foreign workers into American jobs showed that:

  • The program's efficacy is weak and continues to have significant problems.  A Washington based think tank, the Economic Policy Institute, recently criticized the program and confirms ongoing problems.
  • The current 13 officers in the State Department cannot adequately oversee more than 350,000 exchange workers.
  • The employers and sponsors (i.e., the au pair agencies are "sponsors") are having difficulty regulating themselves.

Read the entire news story


Cultural Care Opens Office in Ireland!

We are happy to announce that Cultural Care Au Pair Agency has just accepted their first Irish au pair candidate from their new office in Dublin, Ireland. 

In our last interview with the Senior Vice President of Cultural Care, Natalie Jordan said,

"We're always looking for our next recruitment country and we are so excited to announce that we will head to Ireland next.  Native English speaking au pairs are always very much in demand.  We also have families who have an Irish background and are looking forward to having that cultural connection in their home.  We're hearing of more young (Irish) people interested in spending a year abroad to add to their work and life experience."

Click Here If You Are Interested in Learning More about Irish Au Pairs


Au Pair News Stories - July 2011

ProAuPair Becomes the 14th Au Pair Agency in U.S. and First Agency to Offer Program for Special Needs Children

For the second time in 2011, another new au pair agency has opened up its doors to the American public.  Based in San Clemente, California, ProAuPair’s speciality is recruiting older, experienced au pairs, many of them who have professional degrees in pediatric nursing, teaching and early childhood education, etc.  Susan Asay, Founder & CEO of ProAuPair, has a keen interest in matching au pairs with families who have a special needs child. 
 
There is an increase in families with special needs children, particularly as the number of children diagnosed with autism climbs, parents are frantic to find the appropriate childcare.  ProAuPair’s mission statement is to “match experienced, bilingual au pairs from Germany and other European countries with host families.”

Read Entire Story


Au Pair News Stories - June 2011

From http://www.wkyc.com a website news resource for Cleveland Ohio - June 28 2011.

LAKE COUNTY -- Aneshee Govender's Facebook page indentifies her as an au pair, a live-in child caregiver from a foreign county.

Now she is also an international fugitive on the run. 

Govender worked for Concord Township's Joseph Marziani family in a wealthy neighborhood, watching their 3-year-old son.  The family had in-house cameras installed and investigators say Govender was aware of them.

Joseph Marziani was watching recent video from the cameras and made a shocking discovery.  Govender was allegedly striking and kicking his son. He fired Govender on the spot.

Marziani took the video to the Lake County Sheriff's Department.  Detectives reviewed evidence and brought abuse and endangering charges against Govender in connection with two incidents. There is more video to review.

Captain Lonnie Sparkman said, "When we reviewed the video we saw actions so egregious and so clearly criminal ... There was a physical attack of the child striking the child, kicking the child. ... It's upsetting."

They went to Govender's Cleveland Heights home to arrest her. Her husband said she had fled to avoid prosecution and possible immigration problems with an-about-to-expire visa.

The FBI entered the case and found Govender had flown out of Cleveland Hopkins Airport to Dulles Airport to South Africa.

South African does not have an extradition agreement with the United States.  That means Govender is untouchable as long as she stays there.

Asked whether it was advisable for parents using nannies to install security cameras, Sparkman said,  "It's a responsible parent that monitors the well-being of their child and wants to see the best as they can, in a world that requires them to work the hours they do.  (The Marzianis) are deeply concerned and good parents."

Facts in the case will be presented to a grand jury Thursday. More charges are expected in a case that may never be tried.  Investigators say Govender was hired through an agency, but declined to name
 
View TV News Clip here:  http://www.wkyc.com/news/article/195737/45/Lake-County-Nanny-leaves-coun...


June 30 2011 Update:  We have a follow-up on the incident that we reported yesterday regarding the au pair who was caught on the host family's nanny cam assaulting their young son.

We confirmed that the au pair was from Au Pair in America and Ruth Ferry, Senior Vice President, gave us this statement: 

STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF AU PAIR IN AMERICA Stamford, CT:

"Au Pair in America is aware of the situation regarding the au pair from South Africa. We regret what their young son experienced and are delighted to hear he is doing well. The host family has just welcomed their seventh au pair from Au Pair in America to replace the departed au pair."
 
Ruth Frizell Ferry
Sr Vice President and Director
Au Pair in America
203-399-5025
aupairinamerica.com


New Au Pair Agency Meets the Challenge of Special Needs Children

For the second time in 2011, another new au pair agency has opened up its doors to the American public.  Based in San Francisco, California, ProAuPair’s speciality is recruiting older, experienced au pairs, many of them who have professional degrees in pediatric nursing, teaching and early childhood education, etc.  Susan Asay, Founder & CEO of ProAuPair, has a keen interest in matching au pairs with families who have a special needs child. 
 
There is an increase in families with special needs children, particularly as the number of children diagnosed with autism climbs, parents are frantic to find the appropriate childcare.  ProAuPair’s mission statement is to “match experienced, bilingual au pairs from Germany and other European countries with host families.” 
 
ProAuPair’s Special Needs Au Pair Program (SNAP) offers professional au pair candidates that have at least 2 years of full-time professional experience with special needs children or a degree in the following areas:  occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech therapy, special education.

Read entire news story


Wow,  Au Pair in America is celebrating 25 years - here are the highlights from their press release:

U.S. Au Pair Program Celebrates 25th Anniversary on June 9
- Founding Agency Hosts Celebration at U.S. Department of State -

 

STAMFORD, CT - June 9, 2011 - To commemorate the 25th anniversary of the United States' au pair program, Au Pair in America, the nation's first and most experienced au pair organization, and the U.S. Department of State, are hosting an anniversary celebration in Washington, D.C. on Thursday, June 9 from 4:00pm to 6:00pm.

The event, which will be held in the Benjamin Franklin Room at the U.S. Department of State, will feature guest speakers Ann Stock, the Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and former Connecticut Senator Chris Dodd. Also in attendance will be numerous elected U.S. Government officials, representatives from the U.S. Department of State and Au Pair in America staff, host families and au pairs.

"We are proud to share this special milestone and host the anniversary celebration with the U.S. Department of State," states William L. Gertz, President and CEO of the American Institute For Foreign Study (AIFS), the parent company of Au Pair in America. "We are looking forward to another 25 years of 'bringing the world together' while providing exceptional child care for American families."

Founded in 1986, the U.S. Department of State's au pair program allows 18 to 26-year-old international visitors who travel to the U.S. on a J-1 Visitor Exchange Visa to acquire a better understanding and appreciation of American life while living with an American family and caring for their young children.
 

Read more about Au Pair in America Now!


Au Pair News Stories - April 2011

 

"We are proud to share this special milestone and host the anniversary celebration with the U.S. Department of State," states William L. Gertz, President and CEO of the American Institute For Foreign Study (AIFS), the parent company of Au Pair in America. "We are looking forward to another 25 years of 'bringing the world together' while providing exceptional child care for American families."

Founded in 1986, the U.S. Department of State's au pair program allows 18 to 26-year-old international visitors who travel to the U.S. on a J-1 Visitor Exchange Visa to acquire a better understanding and appreciation of American life while living with an American family and caring for their young children.
 

Read more about Au Pair in America Now!


Au Pair News Stories - March 2011

Portland Resident Helps Launch New Au Pair Program

(Bellingham, Wa. – March 28, 2011) – Melissa Madachick, a Portland resident who has experience both in hosting exchanges in the United States and traveling abroad as an au pair in Ireland, has joined The International Au Pair Exchange (TIAPE) team as a Local Exchange Coordinator (LEC). Recently designated by the U.S. Department of State to administer the au pair program, TIAPE places carefully screened au pairs between the ages of 18 and 26 from foreign countries with qualified host families within select communities throughout the United States. LECs provide continuous support to both au pairs and host families in their areas and help them to maximize their program experience.

"The years I spent abroad as a live-in nanny and au pair greatly enhanced my life and deepened my appreciation and understanding for other cultures. For parents, the au pair program is the best of both worlds because it combines a valuable cultural exchange experience with affordable, live-in childcare. I am excited to bring this opportunity to the Portland community" said Madachik.

Read the rest of this press release
 


Go Au Pair Announces New Logo and Website Design

Go Au Pair’s new website allows families to be more in control of their Au Pair Search

SALT LAKE CITY, MARCH 11, 2011 – Go Au Pair is excited to announce its new logo and website design. A complete change in its layout, colors and navigation allows families easier access to available Au Pairs and Au Pair child care information, while providing Au Pair candidates more detailed and complete information regarding the Au Pair program.

Read the rest of the news story


    
March 2011 - Au Pair Clearinghouse supports Japan's efforts to recover from the devastating earthquake and tsunami and we will donate 5% of our 2010-2011 income to the
Emergency Relief and Aid for Japan 

Please reach out to your agency at this time if you have an au pair from Japan (or if you are an au pair from Japan).  If you would like to assist in the relief efforts, you can donate to the website listed above.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Japanese people at this very difficult time. 

Au Pair Clearinghouse Staff



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