The murder of 2 children in NYC by their babysitter/nanny has everyone horrified and distraught—especially parents who have hired childcare for their family. It has every nanny agency owner –almost all of whom are parents—grappling to understand what could have gone so wrong. How did a seemingly capable caregiver go from loving nanny to murderer? Believe me, I have been reading every shred of news I can find to try and understand how this tragedy could have ever happened.
Those of us owners who belong to an organization called APNA (the Association of Premier Nanny Agencies) subscribe to the highest level of screening practices. I know we are all wondering, if this woman had come to us, would we have picked up something about her which would have eliminated her from placement. The truth is without all the facts of the case, we don’t know.
Here’s what we do know. Careful screening of caregivers by professionals does help weed out people who should not be taking care of children. Real background checks—not the cheap ones provided by online sites—are part of the process. But in this case, the woman probably had no prior record. It does appear, however, that her life was unraveling and she was becoming psychologically untethered.
This case is a statistical anomaly. There are thousands upon thousands of wonderful nannies providing excellent care for children and allowing parents to go to work knowing that their children are in loving hands. But just one case like this is one too many. No one wants to be that anomaly. When the facts emerge about this woman, I hope we have some take away that will make us better at what we try to do best– protect the safety and welfare of children.
Thank you for speaking to eloquently for all of us in the nanny agency business. We are all grieving for this family.
These heartfelt comments were posted by Barbara Kline, owner of White House Nannies and one of our affiliate APNA Nanny Agencies in Washington DC, who we were just with at the 2102 APNA convention two weeks ago. Her thoughts resonate with our hearts, as we grieve with this family that has suffered such an unimaginable loss.
2012 APNA Convention
, Association of Premier Nanny Agencies
, Background Checks
, Professional Nannies
, safety and welfare of children
, Washington DC
, White House Nannies
Each December, our staff likes to take a look back at our past year. We look at all the aspects of our nanny service from practical results as well as more important personal goals.
We invite our families and nannies to stop and consider the progress they’ve made in the past year in these infinitely more important dimensions.
We label our progress:
1. Doing Tremendous!
2. Making strides, but still a ways to go
3. A challenge area
4. Oops! Do I really have to do this?
You’ve had a good year if:
You spent more time evaluating your past year and planning for the direction of your life. We all have room to grow. How was your year?
Your family relationships strengthened.
Did you spend more time of richer quality with your spouse and children?
Did you make more time available to your spouse and less to your hobbies or business?
Did you spend focused time teaching your children values?
Did you eat dinner together as a family more and watch less TV?
Is your love and service to them greater than it was last year?
We can only bring to our career what we already have in our lives and in our homes.
Our outward achievements are only a reflection of our inward success.
If you saw yourself more as servant to your employees, clients, peers, and suppliers, with a goal to make them more successful, if you’ve made the effort to encourage and edify others, then you’ve had a good year.
You are even slightly less acquisitive.
The urge to acquire things is very human, and there’s nothing wrong with having it, but stuff doesn’t truly satisfy. We know that there’s no joy or peace in material things. In fact, the more we get, the more were distracted, and the more work we have to clean it, organize it, insure it and store it. If youve extricated yourself, even a little, from its grasp, if you’ve reduced your debt, even a little, you’ve had a good year.
You are more grateful and content.
What do we have that we deserve? We live better than kings and queens in the past, so how can we not be grateful? Can you say I have more than I deserve or need and really mean it?
You have more peace in your heart.
Its been a rough year economically for many. If our peace depends on the Dow average, it comes and goes.
If you see blessings in all your circumstances, both good and bad, more clearly this year, you’ve had a good year.
You became more proficient in your job.
If you consider that your business or occupation is a gift that you’re to lead with passion and youve been learning and using better ways, you’ve had a good year!
You took better care of your body.
Did your exercise and diet prove you’re developing more self-discipline? Mastering yourself is a key to maturity. If youre in better shape than a year ago, you’ve had a good year.
I hope you have a wonderful 2010,