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2009 News Stories
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:
News Stories - December 2009
Au Pairs of the Year
InterExchange Au Pair USA Announces
Two “Au Pairs of the Year” for 2010
InterExchange Au Pair USA has selected two winners for their annual “Au Pair of the Year” contest. Mayumi Yano of Japan and João Eduardo Girona of Brazil will share the 2010 Au Pair of the Year title.
(PRWEB) December 31, 2009 -- InterExchange Au Pair USA has selected two winners for their annual “Au Pair of the Year” contest. Mayumi Yano of Japan and João Eduardo Girona of Brazil will share the 2010 Au Pair of the Year title. Both have been awarded cash prizes and a trip to New York City in November, where they were presented their awards at the Au Pair USA Annual Conference.
Au pairs from around the country were nominated by their host families. Host families submitted essays outlining why their au pair deserved the Au Pair of the Year honor. The top candidates were narrowed down from dozens of enthusiastic and heart-warming essays.
AuPairUSA Pledges to Keep Program Fees Low in 2010
New York, NY (PRWEB) December 15, 2009 -- InterExchange, a New York City based cultural exchange organization, announced that despite the increasing cost of childcare nationwide, the price of their Au Pair USA live-in childcare program will not increase in 2010. Furthermore, in a move to benefit host families who are renewing their participation in the program, Au Pair USA is offering a $500 discount off the program fees. This means that reapplying families will actually pay less in 2010 than they did in 2009. Lastly, host families who wish to have their au pair extend beyond the original 12-month program length are eligible for over $2,000 savings off the normal Program Fees. These new savings makes Au Pair USA one of the most affordable childcare options available.
News Stories - November 2009
goAuPair Reports on Flooding in El Salvador
Heavy rains triggering flooding and mudslides have left at least 124 people dead and many missing in some of the worst flooding El Salvador has ever experienced. President Mauricio Funes declared a national emergency describing the disaster as a “tragedy” and the damage as “incalculable.” "Today is a very sad day for the country and its government, in fact it is one of the most tragic days in memory," he said in a televised address to the nation on Sunday. About 7,000 people lost homes in the disaster on Sunday. Cars, trees and all kinds of debris have been floating through the streets of the hardest hit cities like the capital San Salvador. Residents in the most tragically affected areas have been wading through rivers of mud in efforts to rescue men, women and children. Fortunately, goAUPAIR’s international representative located in San Salvador has reported that everything is fine with their agency and families.
Plea Deal for Cultural Care Host Father in Au Pair Case
LITCHFIELD — A plea agreement may be reached in the case brought against a New Milford man accused of sexually assaulting an au pair in his employ.
Assistant State’s Attorney Dawn Gallo indicated Friday that the state made an offer in the case against Muhammed Atif Bhatti, charged in January with first-degree sexual assault and third-degree sexual assault.
Bhatti was ordered to appear in court on Nov. 10 to accept or reject the state’s offer. If the defendant rejects the plea agreement, the case will be scheduled for trial. Bhatti’s attorney, James Diamond, indicated the victim may be hiring her own attorney to represent her while she resides in Slovakia.
Police allege that Bhatti told the 20-year-old au pair that she had to take off her clothes for inspection before she went swimming with the family at a New Milford pool in November, police said. Later Bhatti told her two tests were needed for herpes before they could return to the pool and forcefully administered the “tests” in her bedroom, using Vagisil and a Q-tip, according to an arrest warrant affidavit.
Male Au Pair Convicted of Sex Abuse gets New Sentence
The country's top judge has quashed a two-year sentence handed to a male au pair from Wakefield who sexually abused a two-year-old boy in his care. Paedophile Richard Mowatt abused the toddler while changing his nappy during a three-month stay working for the boy's family after they hired him via an internet advert.
News Stories - October 2009
Swine Flu Sends Mostly Under 25 Year-Olds To Hospital
They said reports from 27 U.S. states show 53 percent of people sick enough to be hospitalized with H1N1 flu are under the age of 25, with only 7 percent of hospitalizations among people 65 and older.
New Book Reveals Host Father Having Affair with German Au Pair When he Killed his Wife
New details about the grisly slaying of Tara Grant are revealed in a book that arrived in stores Tuesday. "Limb from Limb," written by a reporter who covered the story for The Detroit News, includes interviews with murderer Stephen Grant and previously unpublished details from police files and the victim's own journal.
News Staff Writer George Hunter and former News editor and columnist Melissa Preddy retell the story of the missing mother of two and how her husband lied for weeks to police and the national media about how she left, until her dismembered torso was discovered in a Rubbermaid container stashed in the garage of the family's Washington Township home.
goAUPAIR Announces Summer Pilot Program Discontinued by U.S. Government
On Oct 2 goAUPAIR was officially notified by our contact at the U.S. Department of State that the Summer Au Pair Pilot Program will not extend into 2010. The pilot program was attractive to Host Families who desired a shorter program length and needed assistance only while their kids were out of school. Families also saw the Summer Program as a way to “test” Au Pair child care to determine if it’s a good fit for their family. Au Pairs were attracted to the shorter time commitment and chance to experience the United States during their summer break. Although attractive and successful, the Summer Au Pair Pilot Program faced many challenges because of the shorter duration.
Cultural Care Refuses to Remove Au Pair and Child is Sexually Abused!
A Lockport mother and son are suing their au pair placement agency after the au pair assigned to them allegedly sexually abused the young boy. In November, the plaintiff asserts that she complained to defendant Maureen McDonnell, Program Director from Cultural Care, but McDonnell would not remove Julian. Somewhere between November and December of 2007, Julian struck plaintiff's son, sexually abused him and took nude photos of him, the complaint states.
Mother Says Male Au Pair Abused Her Son
CHICAGO (CN) - An Illinois woman claims her live-in male au pair fondled her son's genitals and took nude pictures of him, and threw parties at her house while she was away. She is suing the Massachusetts company that matched her with the au pair in Federal Court. The mother, identified only as Jane Doe, says she learned about Cultural Care Au Pair on the Internet. She claims the company falsely assured her that it would set her up with a live-in au pair "who would be a committed and caring companion" for her 7-year-old son.
goAUPAIR Agency Responds to Tropical Storm Ketsana
After relentless rain from Tropical Storm Ketsana, the Philippines capital city, Manila, is trying to stay afloat. On Monday, flood waters began to subside after a weekend storm that hit Manila with its heaviest rainfall in more than 40 years. More than 80 percent of the capital was under water at one point Sunday.
News Stories - September 2009
UK's Alpha Mummy Shares 21 Top Tips for Hosting Au Pairs
Our 21 best tips for hiring an au pair or nanny! We’re knee deep in the process of finding a new au pair after a wonderful year with our first one. After a bit of trial and error, with our nanny interview years ago and au pair trials this time round, we’ve got it down – if not to a science then at least a less stressful, more efficacious routine. Here, the best tips gleaned from the experiences of the Alpha Mummies – Jennifer, Eleanor and Sarah as well as T2’s editor Emma Tucker.
AMC Theatres Accomodates Autistic Children
Examiner.com, September, 2009:
Anyone who has a child with autism knows how hard it is to do anything “typical” that most families do with children on the weekends. Going to the movies is something that most families can do with typical children but what about families with a child or teenager or adult with autism or other special needs. Thanks to one local Howard County Maryland mom who had the courage to call the local theatres when her daughter with autism had been asked to leave made "Sensory Friendly Films" viewings possible. Marianne Ross turned this negative experience into a positive one that has since started a trend for families with special needs with AMC theatres.
Italian Au Pair Cuts Hair for Locks of Love!
With the simple act of getting a haircut, CHI Au Pair Angela Fiore was able to extend her care beyond her host family's children, and do something to help children around the world. Italian au pair Angela Fiore enjoys many of the typical activities of a CHI Au Pair USA participant. She spends time with her host family, plays games with the children, and explores her new American surroundings. She's also done one other thing, however, that's not so typical. Taking inspiration from her host family, she decided to cut her hair, and donate it to Locks of Love. This simple, yet meaningful, act of charity has helped make Angela stand out as an extraordinary au pair participant. Angela, 26, enrolled in the CHI Au Pair USA program because of her love for children and her desire to improve her English. She considered applying to an American college, but decided against it because she thought that being away from her home town of Torino , by herself, would be too lonely. She was thrilled when she came across the CHI Au Pair USA program. Angela's younger sister was already living with her own host family in Japan and let Angela know how wonderful it was. Two months into her program, Angela completely agrees. Angela says "Live with a family. It is the best way to learn about a language and a culture.
Au Pair Louise Woodward's former Prosecutor Makes Bid for U.S. Senate Run
BOSTON — Martha Coakley’s legal career has been dominated by cases that seek to protect children. She joined the Middlesex district attorney’s office in 1986, and found her stride five years later when she was appointed the chief of the child abuse prosecution unit. It was in this role that she first saw the spotlight, when British au pair Louise Woodward was accused of fatally shaking a baby in her care in 1997.
“Right from the get-go it was clear that the Woodward case was going to be an extremely high-profile case, an extremely important case for the Middlesex County district attorney’s office,” said David Frank of Lawyers Weekly. “So the fact that Martha Coakley was selected for that case, along with Gerry Leone, is certainly evidence of the fact that she was considered a very bright, important part of that office.”
Coakley won a second-degree murder conviction, but the judge later changed it to manslaughter. The following year, Coakley was elected Middlesex district attorney.
News Stories - August 2009
Au Pair Care's AU PAIR PROFILE Page is a Great Tool for Parents
Au Pair Care's Au Pair Profiles Page is really great - without signing in or applying to their program, Au Pair Care, the Nation's leading au pair agency (and our Number One Pick for 2009) allows parents to view photos of available au pairs and their answers to three basic and important questions: "Tell us about your previous childcare experience;" "What three words would you use to describe yourself?" and "Why do you want to become an au pair?"
In addition to the au pairs' answers, you can view their Age, Hours of Child Experience, Driving Experience, and Other (for other experience, for example, one au pair wrote in "kindengarten teacher"). Click here to view this page: aupaircare.com.
Cultural Care Provides Water Safety Training for Au Pairs
In an effort to keep area children safe in the water this summer, Cultural Care Au Pair partnered with Claude Moore Recreation Center Aquatics Department earlier this month to host a summer safety meeting for area au pairs.
No A+ Rating for Cultural Care by Better Business Bureau!
August 20 2009. The Better Business Bureau, one of the most respected authorities on consumer trust in the marketplace, rates Cultural Care and gives them a B-. BBB has been around for nearly a century, has held high standars for fairness and honesty and is a trusted source for consumers looking for reliable and impartial information.
How did they come up with their rating?
The Boston area BBB looked at 50 complaints on the internet and charted how many of these complaints were handled successfully by the company and how many of these complaints were not).
BBB processed a total of 50 complaint(s) about this business in the last 36 months, their standard reporting period. Of the total 50 complaint(s) handled in the last 36 months, 14 were addressed in the last 12 months. We review their ratings by type of complaint - the results confirm our latest customer survey results.
UK Mother Free in Landmark Shaken Baby Trial
A young mother accused of shaking her baby son to death has walked free from court after a judge ordered jurors to clear her of manslaughter.
The judge said expert evidence was too divided for the jury to come to a conclusion as he threw out the charge. Legal experts said his decision would have serious implications for similar prosecutions up and down the country.
Although most medical experts still stand firmly behind Shaken Baby Syndrome, a minority of sceptical scientists fear that it is wrong, mistaking symptoms found in innocent accidents with deliberate killing.
News Stories - July 2009
Male Au Pair Has Fetish for Young Boys in Nappies
Yorkshire Post, England
July 31 2009
By Mark Lavery
A paedophile au pair who sexually abused a two-year-old boy in his care has been jailed.
The Recorder of Leeds, Judge Peter Collier locked pervert Richard Mowatt of Wakefield up for two-years-and-three months after describing his crime as a "gross breach of trust."
Leeds Crown Court heard the boy's parents employed Mowatt, 21, after he advertised his services as an au pair on the internet.
During his three-month stay with the family, Mowatt, of Greenlay Drive, Kirkhamgate, abused their toddler son while changing his nappy. Mowatt was a paedophile with a fetish for babies and very young boys wearing nappies.
Au Pair Gets Prison Sentence for Suffocating Baby to Death
Brazilian au pair gets 12 to 25 years in prison
for suffocating her baby in Dauphin County house
by Pete Shellem, Of The Patriot-News
Wednesday July 22, 2009, 3:05 PM
Saying her actions showed a combination of selfishness and immaturity, a Dauphin County judge sentenced a Brazilian au pair to 12 to 25 years in prison Wednesday for suffocating her newborn son at the Lower Paxton Township home where she lived with the family that employed her.
Judge John F. Cherry imposed the term on Ana Amelia Santos Cuoco for the Aug. 7 death of her child, whose body was found wrapped in dirty clothes and a plastic bag in a closet in Cuoco's basement bedroom. Cuoco, 25, pleaded guilty in May to third-degree murder, concealing the death of a child and abuse of a corpse. The plea agreement allowed Cherry to sentence her to up to 23-1/2 to 47 years.
Cuoco told her host family she was ill on Aug. 7 and gave birth to the child in her room. The family discovered the baby's body in a bag in the closet the next morning when one of their children went downstairs to wish Cuoco a happy 24th birthday.
Cuoco knew she was pregnant but didn't want to be kicked out of the au pair program and sent back to Brazil, authorities said.
To see the story on the French Au Pair who did the same thing with her little girl: Click Here
Nanny Faces Child Porn Charges
A Hyattsville mother thought she was in good hands with her nanny. She hired her based on a referral from a relative and an au pair company.
Aza Hrnjic, a 22-year-old Bosnian, had been staying with her family watching her three kids. But in June, she noticed something wasn't right. Her son was crying and didn't want the nanny around anymore.
Once she started asking questions, she found out the woman she had trusted with her children had a dark secret. She had allegedly been showing porn to the kids
Au Pair from Australia Gives Back in her New American Community
"Most au pairs come and are part of their host families," but "a lot aren't comfortable venturing out," said Heidi Schnabel, Au Pair in America's local community counselor. "I've never seen anyone be so involved as Amy, and I've been doing this for 10 years."
"I wanted to get involved with the community," said Hart, a 25-year-old native of Adelaide, Australia, who spent the past year with the Segarra family in Medway as an "EduCare companion," providing 30 hours of child care a week while taking classes in anthropology and a "Journey Through North America" through Harvard Extension, Wellesley College and Mass. Bay.
Weekly Stipend Goes Up This Month!
A reminder for all host parents - the weekly pay you give your au pair is going up and you must be in compliance with the U.S.A. federally mandated pay raise!
AuPairClearingHouse New Agency Survey Results
Read our newest Customer Satisfaction Survey Report! Host Parents rate AuPairCare Number 1 in Customer Service. Cultural Care receives negative ratings and more negative written comments than any other au pair agency.
Demand for Au Pairs Increase Worldwide
Cash-strapped parents are turning to foreign au pairs as a cheaper alternative to nannies. One agency said the number placed with Kiwi families had doubled since this time last year. Au Pair Link managing director Cecilia Robinson said three-quarters of her clients had previously used a nanny, but many couldn't afford wages of up to $20 an hour. "We're finding a lot of people just can't afford it anymore. It's just not economical to go back to work if you need a nanny."
The agency was bringing in 16 new au pairs this month, 60 per cent more than last July, while August figures had doubled. Robinson said many clients were Kiwis returning from overseas, where au pairs were more common. She said the credit crunch was boosting the standard of workers, with many au pairs qualified teachers, childcare workers and nurses struggling to find work in Europe.
News Stories - June 2009
Nannies No Longer Rule the Roost
A fundamental shift of power has occurred in Washington in recent months, and it has nothing to do with politics. For decades, good nannies were a hot commodity in a town rife with workaholics, where the percentage of working women is higher than the national average. The best nannies had to be snapped up immediately and kept happy with regular raises and other benefits, lest they be poached right off the playground by conniving parents.
In the past six to eight months, though, agencies report a deluge of available nannies as parents losing their jobs or downsizing turn to cheaper child-care options, including staying at home. Neighborhood e-mail lists are bristling with parents posting jobs for their former nannies. ("Dream nanny available immediately!") Real-life Mary Poppinses who once had their pick of jobs are finding themselves out of work for weeks, or months, at a time.
Au Pairs Are Exploited in Denmark
Exploding numbers of au pairs in Denmark has Social Democrat MEPs, led by former Prime Minister Poul Nyrup Rasmussen, concerned that wealthy families are abusing the programme as a way to hire inexpensive domestic help. They propose that the cultural exchange programme be eliminated and regulated as hired help.
Madonna and Gwyneth Paltrow Prefer Male Au Pairs or "Mannies"
The newest trend in parenting for Hollywood stars, like Madonna and Gwyneth Paltrow, is having a male au pair, or "mannie" to care for their famous children. In the last few years, high-powered celebrities have made mannies a popular fad in Hollywood.
goAUPAIR Agency - New Flexible Choice Program
goAUPAIR understands that regardless of the financial climate families still need quality childcare which is why we have made the Au Pair program more affordable and flexible. Through our innovative Flexible Choice Program goAUPAIR is able to offer Host Families the confidence that comes with knowing your childcare is covered.
The Flexible Choice Program includes:
Customizable Payment Plan
Your choice in a 12-Month Guarantee
Flexible Au Pair selection and arrival dates
See entire program at goaupair.com/FlexibleChoiceProgram/FlexibleChoiceProgram.htm
Chinese Au Pair and Baby Attacked
The 8-month-old baby girl had fallen asleep in her stroller, and her nanny, Siwei Yao, decided to push her back to her Bolton Street home. It was shortly before 2 p.m., a sunny afternoon on Monday on tree-shaded Bolton Street, in front of a church, and Yao paid no attention as two men in T-shirts walked by. Then one of the men grabbed her from behind in a chokehold and knocked her to the ground. "I couldn't breathe," the 24-year-old Yao said. "He hit me on the back. I couldn't scream." The other man moved the carriage about six feet away, waking baby Christine from her nap, and rifled through the blankets. They left two plastic toys but took Yao's iPod from her pocket before running away. Yao retreated to the child's home, a converted church just up the street, and dialed 911.
News Stories - May 2009
Au Pair Care Featured on ABC News
Heidi Woehl, Vice President of San Francisco based Au Pair Care, says since the agency started in 1989, it has screened, trained and placed about 40,000 au pairs across America. They come from over 40 different countries and are usually young women looking to improve their English skills and have some adventure. To read the entire story and to see the video clip from the news program, see them at: abclocal.go.com
AuPairTUBE: Cultural Care Launches Video Website
May 29, 2009 – With the boom in online video and new uses for it appearing all the time, one au pair agency has found a unique application for videos – aupairvideos.com , a website highlighting videos of au pairs who are looking for host families in the U.S. Families interested in this unique childcare option, can now get a more personal look at the candidates they are considering. While host families have been able to view photos and profiles of available au pairs online for some time, this is the first time families in the selection process can watch video produced by au pairs. This exclusive website, hosted by industry leader Cultural Care Au Pair, provides au pair candidates with the opportunity to show their motivation and personality that simply can’t be interpreted from a paper application or a telephone interview.
Au Pairs Learn Self-Defense
Wicked Local Lexington - In an effort to keep young adults visiting Lexington from overseas safe, Cultural Care Au Pair partnered last week with Callahan’s Karate to hold a self-defense workshop.
AuPairCare Sends Swine Flu Health Alert Letter to Host Families!
Dear AuPairCare Host Family & Au Pair:
The safety and well being of our au pairs and host families is of utmost importance to AuPairCare. As such, we would like to provide you with an update concerning the recent outbreak of the swine influenza A (H1N1: “Swine Flu”). As you may already be aware, the United States Government has declared a public health emergency and other countries are quickly following suit.
News Stories - April 2009
EuAuPair's Child Care Promise Protects Parents
In the event of a full-time job loss, host families who apply or re-apply on or after April 1, 2009 to participate in a 12-month program year, will have the opportunity to receive the standard contractual refund and to keep their au pair until the end of her program year!
Male Au Pair Finalist for Au Pair of the Year Award 2009
A male au pair from South Africa, named Daniel (last name not listed) is from goAuPair agency and was recognized as one of the 6 international finalists for the Au Pair of the Year Award in 2009.
Daniel was nominated by his Host Family who said that he "exemplifies the qualities of an excellent Au Pair. Daniel arrived in the U.S. in March of 2008 and began providing care for two boys, aged 12 and 2. In December 2008, the youngest child was diagnosed with a developmental delay in speech and Daniel began working with him each day to help develop and improve his skills. In addition to his duties as an Au Pair, Daniel volunteers at a local community group for at risk youth.
Press Release from Cultural Care
Read the Current April Press Release from Cultural Care on their Brazilian male au pair who won "Au Pair of the Year Award." See video on this young journalist student who made such a difference in the life of a special needs boy:
News Stories - March 2009
Au Pair of the Year Award Announced in Vienna, Austria
Published by Ozgur Tore
Monday, 30 March 2009
IAPA - the International Au Pair Association has announced the winner of the Au Pair of the Year, 24-year old, Ricardo Silva de Araujo of Brazil. He was placed with a family in the United States.
Now in its sixth year, the annual award presented by IAPA goes to an Au Pair that embodies the spirit of cultural exchange. Families from around the world that have received an Au Pair from one of IAPA’s 140 plus member agencies can nominate candidates for the award. A panel of IAPA representatives then selects three finalists from the hundreds of entries, with a winner chosen from these.
Economic Downturn Linked to Increase in Child Abuse
Child abuse specialists predict that cases of Shaken Baby Syndrome will increase and are linked to family stress.
Dr. Deborah Eappen, whose son, Matthew, was killed by the British au pair Louise Woodward 10 years ago, said she was concerned the current economic downturn will burden families and cause stress between parents and children, leading to domestic violence. “Preventing Shaken Baby Syndrome is the way to go,” said Eappen. “It's like an immunization against child abuse.”
Child Chokes on Carrot and Dies - Does your Au Pair know CPR?
Tragedy struck a Long Island day school Wednesday, March 16, 2009, when police say a two-year-old girl died after choking on a piece of raw carrot.
According to the Carousel Day School in Hicksville, the girl began to choke after eating a piece of carrot. Daycare employees tried to perform CPR on her, before rushing her to Nassau University Medical Center where she was pronounced dead at 4:25 p.m.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics one child in the U.S. dies from choking on food every 5 days!
Is your au pair certified in CPR? Did your agency train your au pair to adequately handle such an emergency if your child started to choke on food?
News Stories - February 2009
Louise Woodward Innocent? New Research Raises Questions
More than 10 years later, new medical study may raise reasonable doubts. Woodward was an au pair with Cultural Care agency. Lead prosecution medical doctor today says Louise Woodward could be innocent of Shaken Baby Syndrome.
Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS) is a medical theory that explains a form of child abuse when an infant is shaken violently by their caretaker, creating a whip-lash motion that results in severe brain injury, lifelong disability or death. The concept of SBS was described in the early 1970's by a neurosurgeon, Dr. Guthkelch. His medical theory has sent dozens of women to jail and was used in the trial of the now infamous au pair, Louise Woodward. She was prosecuted and found guilty of manslaughter for shaking an infant in her care while she was an au pair for Cultural Care.
New scientific research published in the Paediatric Development Pathology Journal (United Kingdom, 2009) sheds new light on SBS. Recent scientific findings may lend evidence to exonerate jailed "abusers" (who continue to protest their innocence) and could have a dramatic effect on future SBS and child abuse trials.
Court Rules On Vaccines and Autism
February 16, 2009. The United States Court of Claims ruled that there is no correlation between childhood vaccines and autism. The legal ruling comes after several well-credentialed studies that had debunked the link between autism and vaccines given to young children.
Psychologists define autism as a disorder characterized by deficiencies in communication and social interactions. Symptoms of autism include difficulties in both language and socialialization skills. Deficits in these areas can range from mild to severe and, for reasons still debated, has been on the increase, particulary in male children.
Celebrity Au Pairs
Au pairs get in the news for all kinds of reasons, some bad and some good! We report all the au pair industry news - good and bad so parents can have a broader viewpoint of au pairs in general. Our Celebrity Au Pairs are featured in today's Current News for February 13, 2009
Host Father Charged with Sexual Assault Allowed to Leave United States
In January 2009, we posted a Current News story about Cultural Care host father, Muhammed Bhatti, who now faces sexual assault charges after his au pair went to the police claiming Bhatti forced her to undress and sexually assaulted her with Q-tips. Ms. Jordan, Senior Vice President of Cultural Care, was interviewed about this story and her rebuttal was posted this month.
This week, Mr. Bhatti told Litchfield, CT, Superior Court Judge Ginocchio, he is required to travel as a computer specialist to Germany as part of his job responsibilities. The judge, who had Bhatti surrender his passport last month, modified the court order allowing him to travel outside of the U.S. for work purposes, but told him he must stay out of Slovakia. The au pair Bhatti sexually assaulted currently lives in Slovakia.
Rebuttal on Sexual Assault Case
Cultural Care Senior Vice President's Rebuttal on
Sexual Assault Case by Host Father
Natalie Jordan, Senior Vice President of Cultural Care, took the time to speak to Aupairclearinghouse.com last week about the recent situation in the news over allegations that one of their host fathers sexually assaulted his au pair and that the company may have been keeping records out of the hands of the police who were investigating the assault. To read the entire story click the link below.
Expert AuPair Agency Updates Website and Expands Market
Expert AuPair Agency has updated their website and now lists their expanded service area. Their website had more information pages for both au pairs and host families. They include "full disclosure" fee schedules for au pairs and families and they do not charge an au pair a fee for applying to their program.
Most au pair agencies do charge something just to fill out the paper work. So, this is good news for au pairs who may find it difficult to get the necessary funds to join an au pair program.
They also included a new page of all the states and then cities they offer services (see the page and all the cities they cover at: expertaupair.com).
They are now in California (Santa Barbara, Los Angeles), Colorado (Denver and Boulder area), Washington, DC, Georgia (Atlanta), Illinois (Chicago), Massachusetts (Boston area) and the New York Metro area.
News Stories - January 2009
Cultural Care Au Pair Sexually Assaulted by Host Father
Agency Cover Up Revealed
Cultural Care Au Pair (Cambridge, Mass.), one of the leading au pair agencies in the country, seems to be having a bad time of it this year!
First, a host family sues them for 5 million dollars in a civil suit when their au pair took pornographic photos of their 5 year old daughter and now one of their au pairs has come forward accusing her host father of sexual assault.
U.S. Government Department of State May Raise Age Limit of Au Pairs
The State Department is considering raising the age limit on au pairs from 26 to 30. This new statue, combined with the 2007 law that allows au pairs to stay an additional year (from 12 months to 24 months) could expand the pool of au pairs by 40%.
This new age limit may be good news for host parents. However, it is important to consider both sides of the new law that may go into effect in the next year:
Host Family Sues Agency
Alleges Au Pair Took Pornographic Pictures of Young Daughter
A host family from Guilford is suing Cultural Care for $5 million dollars and the civil lawsuit charges the agency with breach of contract, negligence and fraud. They allege that their Swedish au pair took inappropriate photographs of their 5-year-old daughter. The suit claims that the daughter and her family are suffering from "irreversible emotional injury and distress" and seeks damages that include financial cost to the parents associated with finding another au pair, providing medical care for their minor child as well as the costs of litigation.
The civil lawsuit, filed in Federal court, claims that the agency failed to adequately screen, train, supervise and monitor the au pair. When the host mom found the alleged photographs, police took the au pair in for questioning. The photographs showed their child wearing red silk pajamas and her face was covered in heavy make-up. In some of the photos, the girl's top was open, in others, the top was off altogether. In one picture, the girl had her hand down her pajama bottoms. This was the only photo that was later interpreted by the police to be pornographic.
Because the law stipulates that there must be at least three pornographic pictures for an arrest - the au pair was released and the agency sent her home to Sweden. No charges were ever filed against the au pair.
We will continue to report on this story as it moves through the courts. Please send your comments to the clearinghouse.
View a video on this story on