Babysitter Solutions: Officer, Is That Our Sitter?

Use this guide to make informed decisions about unclean babysitter background checks

Police reports
Sometimes parents might be put in the unusual situation of being informed that there is a filed, pending or open police report that involves their sitter. Often this will occur after the sitter has already been hired. A filed, open or pending report does not mean that a sitter is necessarily guilty, but rather that they have been involved in something that needs investigating.

If you are tipped off about a police report, call the police station in the area in which it was filed and have them fax a copy to you. Often, this might take several days, as some police stations require you to mail in payment for each report sent, but if you explain your situation, you might be able to get a report faster upon promise of payment. Once you have the report, you have several options. You can simply read it, you can talk to the investigating officer — who will be mentioned numerous times in the report and should also be its author — or, depending on the level of seriousness, you can sometimes talk to the parties involved.

When evaluating, it's again important to have an open mind. With the rise of the Internet, parents and sitters have found new and unfiltered ways to get information about each other. In the case of a police report, unless charges are being filed, you will have to act as judge and jury. Again, consider talking to your sitter about the report to get an honest evaluation of their perspective. Examine their reaction for signs of defensiveness or anger. A little of this might be natural, but evaluate your gut reaction to see if you empathize with their response. If you have any doubts, terminate the relationship.

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