This post is also available in: Deutsch (German)
Nowadays even kids are being confronted with psychological problems and the parents but especially the kid itself have to deal with this situation somehow. Every host family that has a child with special needs has to find an au pair that can take on this challenge.
The au pair has to be qualified, needs to know about certain situations that could happen e.g. with a child that has autism or ADHD or a teen that suffers from anorexia. If the children have suffered from those problems before the family invited an au pair, the family could describe everything that is to do in their profiles. But if the child develops an illness while the au pair is already living with the family, the situation changes for everyone and the au pair has to be told about what exactly is going to happen now and how they will have to deal with the situation.
A new situation
If the relationship to the host family has been good so far, it’s difficult for the au pair not to take on the challenge and stay with the family. All of them now have to learn to handle a mental illness or another illness that has been diagnosed. So the family can take the au pair by the hand and they learn about the situation together.
Although the relationship with the au pair has been good, the family should still talk to their new family member and make sure if the au pair is still happy in the family or might be scared not to be able to stay with the family.
Then the family has to be understanding, since those new circumstances are just not for everbody.
To be abandoned
It is also important that it might not be helpful when the au pair switches the host family only because there are new challenges for the whole family. The child might feel abandoned. So if everything has been fine with your au pair in the past, you might want to give them some support during the situation too. For the au pair it can also be very good for the future not to run away from a difficult situation.
What is your opinion on the topic? How would you proceed?