21-year old Traci Omer was charged in 3rd district court this week with child abuse, a second degree felony.
Omer worked for a couple beginning in February but was terminated in July after the parents confronted her about some of the child’s injuries.
"They started to notice there were some injuries and some things that were just not right," says Sim Gill, Salt Lake District Attorney.
The parents have a one year old and two year old child. Court documents state the one year old was the target of Omer’s abuse. According to the probable cause statement, Omer used “makeup” to conceal some of the injuries to the one-year old. When the father of the child confronted Omer about the makeup she “denied” putting makeup on the child. She was fired.
Prosecutors say Omer later wrote a letter to the parents of the children confessing to the crime.
Omer allegedly wrote: the children "were not safe" with her; gave the child an "angry scrub" with a kitchen sponge; "snap rubber bands" against their leg and "I had gone so far as to scrape off skin and draw blood. It was surprisingly easy to do."
“She admitted to this conduct,” Gill says. “I can't go into full details.”
Hiring a nanny is a big step for parents.
That's why those in the business recommend going through an agency.
“(It’s the) best idea,” says Amanda Roach, a placement coordinator with GoAuPair. “The reason for that is we actually pre-screen all of our au pairs. We go through a 17-point background check.
Roach who works for GoAuPair in Murray, says a parent needs more than just a criminal background check.
“That's why we do extra screening, training of au pair candidates, working with children,” says Roach. “We do the psycho-metrics exam to make sure they are psychologically capable of caring for children, being with children.”
She says their agency offers personal sponsors that assist a family in their search for the perfect nanny as well as on going assistance after a nanny is selected.
Families sometimes choose a nanny that fits their budget. But Roach says Au Pairs are not that much more than what a family can find in the classifieds.
“(We) offer that extra good feeling that someone is screening your child care providers before hand,” says Roach. “So that you’re not just picking some person that you have no idea who they are.”
To learn more about a nanny agency visit: www.GoAuPair.com