How to Build Trust Between Parents and Nannies.
This week we will discuss issues of privacy for nannies. We will start by discussing nanny cams.
It is estimated that more than one million cases of child abuse occur in the United States annually. A very small percentage of these cases involve nannies.
In 2001, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention reported that merely four percent (4%) of child abuse cases were caused by caregivers, nannies, and baby-sitters. http://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/ojjdp/189102.pdf
What can and should employers do to prevent abuse or neglect by nannies?
The Best Defense for Parents is to Conduct:
1. Comprehensive Interviews
Although parents can start interviewing nanny candidates by exchanging emails or by speaking on the phone, parents should have an in-person interview before hiring a nanny. Find interview questions at: http://www.bestnannynewsletter.com/moreadvice.htm#8
2. Diligent Background Checks
Ask to see originals of the caregiver’s driver’s license, social security card, CPR/First Aid certificates, and diplomas. If the parents are hiring a caregiver without the assistance of a nanny referral agency they ought to perform inexpensive background checks themselves. http://www.bestnannynewsletter.com/moreadvice.htm#5
3. Criminal Checks
One of the advantages of using a reputable nanny placement agency is they know how to perform background checks and criminal checks. But parents can perform a criminal check on a nanny candidate themselves for about $50. http://www.bestnannynewsletter.com/moreadvice.htm#5
4. Reference Checks
Even when parents hire a reputable nanny placement agency to help hire a caregiver, they should call the job seekers references themselves to ensure the references are valid and to ask the specific questions important to the parents.
Even after conducting thorough interviews, background checks, and reference checks some parents may still feel uneasy or suspicious leaving their children alone at home with a new caregiver or worry about damages to their homes or theft of personal property.
Using nanny cams in homes is an emotional debate between parents and nannies.
But, surveillance cameras are an extension of what is already present in most stores, malls, and daycare centers throughout the nation.
It is legal to use nanny cams in private homes. Parents may install visible or hidden surveillance cameras that may record or transmit the activities of nannies in their homes. The cameras do not abridge the rights of nannies when they are placed in the public or common areas of homes.
Cameras may not be placed in bedrooms or in bathrooms. It is also illegal in 15 states to record sound. It is illegal to record speech without a person's consent in the following states: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Washington.
Many nannies feel that the use of nanny cams is insulting and a sign of mistrust.
Whether caregivers approve of the use of video surveillance in the homes they work in or not, nannies prefer being told if cameras are installed rather than stumbling across the surveillance by accident.
OTHER WAYS NANNIES CAN GAIN TRUST OF PARENTS:
1. Introduce their employers to their friends and family.
2. Show accountability.
3. Listen to the parents and honor the parents’ concerns.
4. Be open about anything concerning the children.
5. Do not gossip about the family.
6. Keep a daily log to communicate about the children. http://www.bestnannynewsletter.com/moreadvice.htm#17
7. Have informal weekly meetings to maintain open communication with parents about the children and the job. http://www.bestnannynewsletter.com/advice.htm#2
We will continue discussing privacy issues for nannies tomorrow.
Have you ever worked for a family that uses nanny cams? Comment below.