|Posted on November 26, 2014 at 8:05 AM|
The picture above is a Nanny we head hunted for an American family relocating to London with two children under five years old. Denisa a European Union Passport Holder, tri-lingual, had apart from several checkable childcare references, a Paediatric Certificate, is flexible, willing to travel domestically and internationally, willing to work weekends, and most of all she passed a UK background check with flying colours and came out with a clean sheet. This is typical in the UK where Nannies are regulated and a fully comprehensive and thorough framework exists to ensure parents can hire a legal, trustworthy caregiver, after all, UK is the land of the Nannies and where Mary Poppins comes from
UK background checks for Nannies is called an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). In order to apply for this check, an applicant has to be resident in the UK for at least 6 months and must verify identity by having 2 forms of photo ID and 2 proofs of address. The check costs less than $100 and without an DBS, no sane parent would hire an applicant as a Nanny in the UK.
This check gives UK parents a peace of mind. The US does not offer the same level of screening by the State and parents are misled by online agencies who claim an applicant can be checked out with a press of a few buttons which is a gross misrepresentation of facts, misleading and very dangerous.
UK background checks for those who wants to work with minors and vulnerable adults has to pass a enhanced DBS/CRB.
A DBS/CRB Disclosure is a document containing information held by the police and government departments. It can be used by employers and voluntary organisations to make safer recruitment decisions. Disclosures are provided by the Disclosure and Barring Service(Criminal Records Bureau), an executive agency of the Home Office.
The DBS/CRB’s Disclosure service provides access to a range of different types of information, such as, information:
•Held on the Police National Computer (PNC), such as convictions, cautions, reprimands and warnings in England, Wales and those recorded from Scotland. There is also some Northern Ireland data held on the PNC.
•Held by local police forces relating to relevant non-conviction information
•From the Independent Safeguarding Authority’s Vetting and Barring Scheme
•Held by the Department for Education (DfE) under Section 142 of the Education Act 2002 (formerly known as List 99)
At the moment, in the US, parents cannot find out if someone has been arrested, or have had a previous caution or warning which means in some States, ie Arkansas, for example, Arkansas Act 346, gives first offenders who've pleaded guilty and are sentenced to probation the chance to have their record expunged once they complete their probation - meaning someone who has abused a child can reapply to work as a Nanny and her future employer will never find out.
We were touched after speaking to a Mom with a mission who is now fighting to have a child abuse registry in every States in the US, starting in Arkansas where she lives.
Whitney Matney caught her Nanny abusing her daughter after running a background before hiring her and also spending a couple of weeks with the Nanny before returning to work.
"For a young family, finding child care for a baby can be an emotional, stressful time. It’s likely the first time that new parents are handing over the care of their child to someone else, in many cases a stranger. It’s the ultimate level of trust, and when a nanny or daycare worker violates that trust by abusing a child, it creates national headlines as disturbing as they are despicable. "
“You see these horror stories on TV, and it’s like a surreal feeling when it happens to you,” Whitney Matney, a 28-year-old mother from Springdale, Arkansas, told ABC News' "20/20." We called Whitney to find out how we can all help her to make the changes necessary to create a framework just like in the UK to ensure American parents can be sure the Nanny they choose to hire is trustworhy.
Whitney said “In 2015, we’re going to send out a bill asking that they actually implement the child abuse registry. Arkansas will be the first state to have one, if it passes,” she said, adding she hopes it will motivate other people to lobby their state representatives into creating similar registries.
“I want all of the states to adopt it. What I want is for anybody who has been criminally convicted of child abuse, or any crime against a child, that they be listed on that registry so that parents can check before they leave their children with a babysitter, a nanny, a neighbor,” she said.
Why is it that only in California, Nannies do have to register with law enforcement prior to commencing work as a Nanny?
Trust line, which is only enforced in California – an invaluable resource for parents.TrustLine is a database of nannies and baby-sitters that have cleared criminal background checks in California. It’s the only authorized screening program of in-home caregivers in the state with access to fingerprint records at the California Department of Justice and the FBI.
If you would like to join Witney and Mom to Moms Advisor LLC on joining our mission to implement a child abuse registry in your State, please get in touch