Sunday

Bad Nanny Experience in Illinois

Received Sunday, August 3, 2008- Rants and Warnings
I hope that I can warn others about a bad nanny in the greater Chicagoland area.

My ex husband employed Kristy V. (last name available) in Aug, 2007 to care for my 9 year old daughter when she is in his custody. My child would report to me that the nanny was constantly on My Space. She even assisted my child to navigate about on My Space, which is clearly against their policies. After discovering that she was posting photos of my child on her My Space, I requested that Kristy take them down. She refused and turned her My Space to, "private". Of course, this is not really effective. In July, 2008 I discovered that Kristy had posted 25 additional photos of my child. I contacted The National Center for Child Exploitation. They sent a statement detailing the dangers of posting photos of children on the internet. I forwarded this to the nanny and my ex husband. She once again refused to remove the photos and apparently, protested that it her was her right to post these pictures with no regard for my child's safety. I contacted the Parental Control unit at My Space. They were quite alarmed by this and escalated the case and they removed the photos and also the entry where she had posted my child's full name and location. She continues to be defiant in charging that she has been "stalked" and that people should, "grow up" and "free time should be spent getting a life". She also claims to find this, "amusing". Strangely enough, on the day that I contacted the Illinois DCFS, she decided to take a vacation to Florida.

The moral of this story is please thoroughly investigate the background of anyone that you hire to care for your children. I would ask if they have My Space or better yet, get their email address and then search My Space. You will likely see a very different person than the one standing in front of you at the interview.

39 comments:

lorenza said...

Seems very strange that the nanny would be this stubborn about something that could get her into trouble. Maybe your ex husbnad is encouraging her?

Anonymous said...
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TC said...

Well I understand your concern...to an extent.

I have pictures of the children I watch on my myspace and I post their pictures on another site for the mother and anyone else she wants to see the pictures. If she asks me to take the pictures down then of course I would but I think you went a tad to far in contacting the center for missing and exploited children and myspace as well as DCFS.

Were the pictures of your child in nude? Or doing inappropriate things? Or were the pictures simply normal every day activities like going to the park?

She should never have posted your child's full name and location and I will not defend that aspect of your complaint but I don't think the pictures were that big of a deal.

Honestly it sounds like you might be having problems with your ex and are looking for any excuse to paint him in a bad light.

op said...

I beleive that she has some very serious character deficits and is quite disturbed. I, too, was incredulous a the attitude that she took on this. It was quite a display of total disregard for my child's safety and extreme irresponsibilty. She does think that she has my exhusband in her pocket, but, as we all know when it comes to our children,most parents will put them first.

Thank you for your comments.

chick said...

tc, the op didn't contact DCFS first thing. She did ask the "nanny" to take the pictures down repeatedly, and apparently got nothing but attitude in return.

I think the mom is doing the right thing, and if her relationship with her ex colors her views, so what? Shouldn't the child's FATHER also want her kept safe and sound?

BTW, sharing kid pictures on-line can lead to them being photoshopped into compromising and even outright vulgar pictures. Photoshop is a favorite tool among those who share porn on-line.

the mrs. said...

Excellent point, Chick. Which is why I never, never, never post photos of my children or allow anyone else to.
The Mother here did what she had to do.

the fisherman's wife said...

tc- The mother didn't want pictures of her child on the internet. It's plain and simple. No one (no, not even a nanny) has the right to post pictures of a child on the internet without BOTH (in this case) parent's approval. Refusing to take them down was wrong, inappropriate and selfish.

If it were my child, I probably would have done the same thing, maybe even gone a step farther in contacting the police and asking if there was anything that I could do to legally force her to take the pictures down. There are a lot of sickos in this world, who, like chick mentioned, are proficient at photoshop and can make any completely innocent picture look like something completely vulgar, even criminal.

So, no OP, you weren't wrong. You did what you felt was necessary to proctect your child. Your child, your rules. It's as simple as that.

westchester nanny said...

tc I don't see where she really "painted her ex in a bad light". He hired the girl, that's all. I surely hope she was fired after though. That type of thing is wrong. How can you say it's okay to list a child's name and location with a photo???? Until recently anyone could have looked at this girls page pedophiles included. This girl is not a parent and the simple fact that she refused to take it down even after the mother asked her to is just weird. She's the nanny not a family member. I have Facebook and would never put my charges on there NOT EVER even though I use it to mainly communicate with close friends and family. There was no excuse for this or the girls behavior. Period.

alex said...

I see no problem with posting pictures if the mother and father are okay with it. Since she asked the nanny to take the pictures down again and again and the nanny refused, I think the op was fine in her actions.

Some parents are fine with that while others were not and I think if the mother asks the nanny to take them down and she refuses I think it is fine that the mother went further to contact people. The pictures may have been innocent but posting her child's name and location is not right.

anonymous1 said...

this mother's wishes should be respected

snarkymama said...

My friend did this and MySpace has a clear rule about posting pictures of minors without parental permission. Or any photos without the person's permission. My friend also refused and went to private, we told her in no uncertain terms that we were hiring an attorney and would let them deal with the situation further. It is a very serious problem and it should be your first priority to rectify the situation. I am glad that you are taking it so seriously and wish you the best of luck in dealing with this. It sounds like the nanny is really stalking you and maybe you can make that case to your local police department on behalf of your daughter. Maybe the police or FBI showing up at her door will get her in the right frame of mind.

Caring Nanny said...

I have pictures of my charges on facebook (which is a great deal safer than myspace), and double protected... and I don't list their full names... I don't list their full first names even. I don't feel like there is anything wrong with that...
but if the parents were to ask me to take them down, I definitely would. I mean, they ARE their kids...

But the kids are a huge part of my life, and I see no problem sharing some cute pictures of them to other people in my life... should I?

JerseyxJacqui said...

OP made it very very very clear that she wanted the pictures of her child removed. They should have been removed. The end. The fact that they weren't is indicative of an irresponsible and somewhat suspicious nanny...nevermind rude, stubborn and immature.
How bizarre.

lovesthegirls said...

I agree with TC. I have pictures of my girls posted as wel, with a private status. I agree that the nanny should have listened, but this sounds more like a caustic diatribe from a bitter ex-wife

Anonymous said...
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UmassSlytherin said...

My feelings on this issue are very very strong: nannies, you have absolutely no right to post pictures of your charges on your myspace without the specific permission of their parents. I can't stress this enough. It doesn't matter in the slightest if you have your profile set to private: you are still sharing them with friends without the knowledge and permission of the parents. I would never give my nanny permission to post photos of my child online, and if I found out she had them up, I would demand that she remove them. OP was absolutely justified in her actions.

Additionally, it is a great idea to do a myspace and facebook search on your nanny, because there are some quite disturbing profiles of young women out there. I have posted before about searches we have done on babysitters we were interviewing. Very eye-opening. Yes, we were all young once, but in this day and age of the internet, I just cannot believe how stupid some of these young women are, posting pics of themselves drunk and stoned, smoking pot, barely dressed, just basically acting idiotically, for all the world, including their employers or prospective employers, to see! It just astounds me.

No, I do not think any sitter has the right to post pics of your child without your permission. It is just not right, imho.

op said...

TC and Lovethegirls,

I'm sorry but you are a little off-base on this. My exhusband requested that the nanny and her sister- who had also posted photos of my Daughter- take the photos down. The sister did and the nanny lied and told him that she had removed them several times. I assure that he was just as concerned about this as I am. Please do your own reserach and find out the dangers of posting photos of children on the internet. They are many and very frightening.

I also urge anyone who has a nanny to go to My Space and run a search. This nanny's roomate and herself are both currently listed on nannies4hire.com with "clean" resumes. The My Space pages reveal a very different story. Listing your current demeanor as "drunk" and posting photos of yourself scantilly clad with alcohol will not result in placing yourself with any family that really wants postive role models for their children. And if you are a nanny, you might want to consider cleaning up your public promotion of yourself (as that is what My Space is). The info on their is now being used by attorneys to build cases, colleges when looking at admissions and employers prior to hiring employees. I just wish we would have known this prior to hiring Kristy Nicole.

note: I re-posted your comments for you because we delete Anonymous comments, but I feel it is important for you to answer everyone as you have because this is your Submission. Could you use the moniker OP for any future posts by clicking on the Name/URL, please. Thanks! - mpp :)

somebody said...

The mother is absolutely right. I don't see where it says anything negative about her ex-husband in the post at all. She AND HER SISTER(????) had pictures of the little girl on their pages. So weird. And the OPs further comments on others viewing your MySpace and Facebook pages are absolutely true. My friend was interviewing for a nanny job last month with a wealthy Manhattan family, when the lawyer did the background check he found her Myspace page which has questionable photos and comments on it. She was not hired. I don't at all agree with this process ones own private time is just that we all have a job self and a private self but it reinforces the point.

bebe said...

chick
please don't think i'm an idiot for not knowing, but who is that in your icon?

TC said...

How can you say it's okay to list a child's name and location with a photo????

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Did you read my post?

*I said*
She should never have posted your child's full name and location and I will not defend that aspect of your complaint


So please next time read what I wrote before trying to admonish me for something I didn't say nor defend.

==============
I forgot to add that if the mother wanted the pictures taken down then yes they most certainly should have been taken down.

chick said...

bebe, that's David Cook on the left, and Michael Johns on the right, from this year's American Idol. I got into that show for the first time this year - I'm a little behind on many entertainment things, lol!

Anyhoo, I think they're good singers, and not exactly horribly hard on the eyes either. I'll expand in a new post with a new icon, lol!

chick said...

See? They look pretty and SING pretty. And dance together like goobers at concerts. ☺♥☺

And, ummmm, I am sure they would also completely disapprove of nannies posting kids pics without permission.

Yep.

NVMom said...

Even ebay warns sellers not to use pictures of their children when selling clothes and toys. There are just too many people adept at utilizing Internet photos for their own sick purpose.

I did not even give my child's school permission, when they wanted to use her photo on the net. It's just the times we are in, unfortunately.

OP said...

Thank you all for your comments. I posted this because I see a viable threat to children and I am hoping that others can learn from my misfortune and therefore, it was not in vain. Thank you for providing this forum. It is a valuable resource for both parents and childcare professionals. Our children are truly our most precious gifs.

Marypoppin'pills said...

Thank you so much for your helpful Contributions, OP.

well... said...

Putting a photo of a child against a parent's wishes is never right, and she totally shouldn't be putting the names and locations AT ALL. However, I do have one photo of my charge and I on my private Facebook account. She was ten months old at the time and it is only a photo of our faces. We took the photo on my last day of working for them and I loved it and used it as my default picture. I don't see anything wrong with that and I know her mother wouldn't either.

Metronanny said...

You do realize that while your nannies behavior is odd and unusual in that she would not respect your wishes, if the photos are taken in public, or in a private area open for public use, like a mall or park, she is very much within her rights to post those pictures? If this is all she has done you had better be careful. A vengeful person, and you make her sound very vengeful, might be able to sue you for defamation of character. Not trying to come down on you OPm just trying to make you aware of a possible problem for you.

chick said...

metronanny, can you link us to the myspace rules that say public area pictures of a child can be posted on a page regardless of a parent's wishes?

I know the "public area" thing holds true for celebrities, and probably for us boring normal people, but I find it hard to believe it holds true for minor children.

TIA!

cali mom said...

I just have to point out that anyone with 12 brain cells can post whatever they want on their Myspace or Facebook page and if they don't name their profile with their own full name, you'll never know about it. Even stupid people might think of that. They also most likely will use one email address for business purposes, and another for personal stuff, so thinking that you will be able to look them up on Myspace or Facebook because they gave you an email address is just silly. Again, it may only takle 10 brain cells to realize these things.

As for anyone who insists on keeping up photos of someone after they have been asked by that person (or that person's parents) to remove them, it is absolutely WRONG. I'm not sure what the legalities are of kid's photos if taken in public, and I'd be very curious to know.

NVMom said...

I do know this from working in broadcast news - we were never allowed to show a child's face without parental permission. Even if we took video in a public place such as a park or mall. A lot of it had to do with what was being said as well. You couldn't chance saying something that might be construed as being directly about the people in the video. That's why when you watch the news, you will notice kids faces are blurred or they are shot (videotaped) from a distance.

There must be a law that applies the same to what appears in print. Don't know about the net, since it is all changing fast, but I can't see why the law would not side with the parents wishes. Anyone else know the law on this??

pennyforyourthoughts said...

I don't think the issue here is myspace, I think it's the nanny in general. Let's be honest, people have lives outside of work, even nannies...and that's healthy. What isn't healthy is not listening to the request of a parent to take a child's photo down.

What I do (or anyone else does for that matter) outside of work is private, and my own business. If I get drunk on a Saturday and party tell the cow's come home, it's not my bosses business on Monday morning (and no, I'm not a nanny.) I am simply stating, that I can keep my work and private life separate, and I don't believe that should reflect negatively on my character.

This is not to condone this nannies behavior, as what she did is totally wrong, and completely inappropriate, and to be perfectly honest, I can't even fathom a single reason why she'd be acting against her charges mother's wishes. I am simply saying, it's a total invasion of privacy, to delve into a persons personal life (outside of work) and pass judgement due to how they choose to live when they are not working. So what if she was 'scantly clad' in some of her photos...does she dress that way in front of your daughter? If she does not, than it shouldn't be any concern of yours, or your daughters. I have clothes I wear out (dates, clubs etc) and they are far from the attire I wear to work...again, work is separate from "play". We were all young once, and because this woman is a nanny does not mean she has to be a nun.

So yes, I agree that posting children's photos online is a HUGE "no, no", however I do not agree in any way shape or form that it's okay to delve into someone's personal life and command how they live OUTSIDE of your presence....and this is typically not something you see in any other profession.

Emily said...

pennyforyourthoughts,

Whether or not you "agree" with an employer looking up your myspace or facebook page, you should be aware that they're going to do it. That's the kind of world we live in, and it's not restricted to any one profession. So, you can say that what you do outside of work is only your business, and not your employers, but when you post it on the internet you make it everyone's business. Be prepared to be judged on it.

UmassSlytherin said...

Well-said, Emily. Very well-said. I get drunk sometimes. I get drunk and watch Dawson's Creek dvds. But I wouldn't say that to someone I was interviewing with. Yes, we all have a "private life." But as soon as you post it on the internet for all to see, it is no longer private.

I don't have a problem with a nanny who cuts loose on her time off. That's only natural and it is healthy. But I would have a problem with a nanny who posted all her dirty laundry on the internet because that just doesn't show good judgement. As far as being "scantily clad", I was referring to some myspace profiles I have seen with girls who are no more than 17 making out with guys in their underwear. I don't give a crap if my nanny does it in front of my child or not: if she is posting stuff like that, she is a dumbass. And she will be a dumbass if she is with my child or not.

MM said...

When I interviewed for my current job, my future employers told me the checked out my Myspace and they were slightly worried. I thought it was my blog entry that was an expletive-laden diatribe on the last Cubs game (stupid Ted Lilly), but they were worried about my writing about getting a teaching job. So I had to explain to them that, yes, I had applied for a teaching job, but hadn't updated my profile to say that I didn't get the job and was happy about that.

OP, I'm also from Chicago, and I have to say I never liked nannies4hire.com. If you're looking in the Chicagoland area Sittercity.com is better in my opinon. Maybe you can find someone more respectful there.

Rhea said...

Stupid, stupid woman.

I posted pictures of the little boy I cared for on my myspace. I gave the parents my myspace address (since I had signed up with a fake name and email address to keep people I don't get along with from finding me) and I have everything set to private.

The parents had no problems with my friends and family seeing pictures of the little boy. Actually, his mom got very excited and had me show her how to private HER profile so she could put up more pictures of him herself.

If one of them had said take them down, I would have. Whether or not you are taking the child's well-being into consideration, what the parents say should go. End of story.

snarkymama said...

metronanny--you are wrong about the photos. MySpace actually has a rule about posting photos of other people without their permission no matter where the photo was taken. Rules for photography vary but that one is very clear.

snarkymama said...

Content/Activity Prohibited. The following are examples of the kind of Content that is illegal or prohibited to post on or through the MySpace Services. MySpace reserves the right to investigate and take appropriate legal action against anyone who, in MySpace's sole discretion, violates this provision, including without limitation, removing the offending Content from the MySpace Services and terminating the Membership of such violators. Prohibited Content includes, but is not limited to, Content that, in the sole discretion of MySpace:

8.14 includes a photograph or video of another person that you have posted without that person's consent;

Kelsey said...

OP,
I hear your point, but I think you need to hear it from a nanny's point of view too.
I don't have a myspace, I have a facebook and a blog. Nannying is part of my life and I take pictures as a hobby.
When I blog, I write about my day at work, etc. I don't use the child's name, I use her initial (A) and if I post a photo I either make it very blurry or I'll post one with her eyes shut.
I understand that it's the parents decision of whether or not they want their child's picture on the internet, but I really don't feel that my boss has any right to be on my personal webpage.
That's my place that I can rant and rave about my life and if I need a place to talk about work than I want to know that I can do that without fear that something I say can get me fired.
My boss is aware that I have a website and a facebook. They've asked to see them and I haven't told them the web address or plan on it. They aren't very internet savvy, so there's no way that they could find it if they tried.
My point is don't pry into your nannies personal space and at the time of employment tell your nanny that you don't want any photos of your child on the internet.

OP said...

As stated previously, your own time is just that. However when I select you to care for my child, expect that I will do a thorough background search. When you promote yourself on a public website as drunk and irresponsible and then post photos of my child without my permission, it then becomes my problem and I will deal with it.

Please see the folowing article for some clearer examples of the dangers of posting photos of children.

Take Your Children Offline NOW
By
David W. Boles
on July 13, 2005 7:36 AM | Permalink | Comments (42) | TrackBacks (18)
We need to have a blunt conversation. I realize this may not be a popular article if you have children and you celebrate them online by posting their photos for public viewing.

There has been a lot of talk about protecting children when they are interactively online but I suggest parents take an even larger step backward and realize even one-way interaction where your children are being viewed by people you do not know is just as dangerous to the welfare of your child as an unmonitored online chat session.
I am all for celebrating your children online! Celebrate them in text only. Don't show recognizable images of them. My advice is to take all images of your children offline immediately because you don't know who is out there in the world watching your children grow and have fun. Perhaps you're even unwittingly serving up your most precious things in life as masturbation fodder for internet perverts.

I realize that sounds rough and crass but for those of you who know the world and recognize the rules of the street, that is precisely the kind of scenario you risk when you place images of your children online. After surfing lots of blogs over the last couple of weeks I was shocked to see how many parents are sharing their children with a stratum of the internet audience who hunger for, but never find satiety in, ogling young children and infants.

The children don't have to be naked or in a compromising position to provide a thrill. The underbelly freaks I am discussing will take your children however you choose to serve them up because the stimulation for the freak is in the looking and then in the creating of the fantasy.

The context of the image is irrelevant except for the face, size and shape of your child because those people are quite specific in what they wish to watch and the internet provides a large patch to pluck.

Now I may offend you even further by saying: Parents who place images of their children online are Pimps because they use the language of the street that electrifies the mind of the pervert: "Look at my big boys!" "Isn't my two-year-old daughter sweet in her tutu?" There are likely thousands of pedophiles hiding behind a computer screen somewhere in the world agreeing with every single word you say about your kids.

They are buying the shine you are shilling off your children. Okay, let's say there aren't thousands of people out there hunting for children to find, view, save locally and "look at" later. Let's say there's just one out there.

Does that lessen the risk? Does that make you feel better that only one pervert is fantasizing over your child instead a thousand? Parents are also sloppy about leaving clues on the internet.

Blogs and websites are filled with easy ways to hunt down children via parental carelessness. Many blogs openly pony up first and last names of family members, jobs, city and state, hobbies and even the full names of the children! This unintended exploitation is the most dangerous kind. Most of us would never consider this ugly side of humanity but the internet is a great leveler -- a true Democracy in action -- with all its golden moments and bloody warts.

Good people and scummy people all have the same access to a web page and you should, if you are a cautious and loving parent, assume the worst of the world is watching every little thing you do while you do everything within your power to create as many golden moments for your children as possible. Continue their golden journey by taking their pictures offline. Now we have to discuss the issue of consent.

A child is not legally old enough to sign a contract but you, as the parent, decided it is in their best interest to publicly place them on the web for viewing?

How can one condone that attitude and support that behavior if you really want to protect the identity, privacy, and innocence of your children? Even if your child begs you to have images on the internet it is your duty as a thoughtful parent to deny that request in their best interest unless and until you carefully password protect those images and you know precisely who is seeing what you provide.

You know the world is an awful enough place that will eventually beat up all children a bit as they get older, but why accelerate matters by placing them online in the one arena where they are most vulnerable to dangers you, as legal guardian, cannot feel, smell, warn against or even recognize except, perhaps, by the increasing rise in your visitor counter?

You would never send your children naked and alone down a dark street but that's precisely what you're doing when you give the World Wide Web unfettered access to your kids on the information super highway. We always warn our children to stay away from strangers while statistics show children are more often molested by those they already know.

Well, the internet is the one place where the invitation to connect with a child is always made first by the very adult charged with protecting them.