The Nightmare Nanny: Why You Should Screen Child Caregivers

Have you heard about the ?nightmare nanny?? It sounds like something out of a movie, but this story is true and happening right now in Upland, California. If you weren't already convinced that you should use private investigative services to screen potential babysitters or nannies, the tale of the nightmare nanny will give you all the reason you need.

The trouble began in March, when Marcella and Ralph Bracamonte put an ad on Craigslist to find a caretaker to help them watch their three children in exchange for a room in their home. 64-year-old Diane Stretton answered the ad and moved into the Bracamonte household to take the position. At first, Stretton did a great job.

How The Nightmare Began

After two weeks, Stretton stopped working and refused to leave her room except for meals, telling the family that she suffered from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, a lung disease that impacts breathing. The Bracamontes decided to dismiss her on June 6, but the nightmare nanny refused to go and instead threatened legal action against the family. Police have told the Bracamonte family that they cannot force Stretton to leave until they go through a formal eviction process, since they asked her to move in and she took up residence in the home. Stretton is accusing the family of elder abuse and claims that they made her work for 90 days straight without a day off or a break and even tried to feed her dog food.

Why Private Investigative Services Could Have Prevented The Entire Situation

Since this story broke, details about Stretton's past legal issues have come to light. ABC News reported earlier this week that Stretton is listed on the Vexatious Litigant List in the state of California: this list identifies people that abuse the legal system by filing unwarranted or repetitive lawsuits. Examination of Stretton's legal past reveals that most of the lawsuits that she filed were aimed at members of her own family, including a lawsuit last year against her own son and two of her sisters.

A private investigator could have saved the Bracamonte family from a boatload of trouble. Private investigative services can help protect people from bad experiences with child caregivers in several ways:

  • A complete background check: private investigators can conduct thorough background checks that will quickly give you the information that you need to know about a potential nanny or babysitter, including criminal history and involvement in past legal cases
  • Thorough interviews: a private investigator will sit down and interview caregiver candidates in a skilled manner that will not threaten or intimidate anyone, yet will still provide you with a good sense of their personality, values, and commitment to child care
  • Surveillance services: do you need to be at work while your child caretaker is at home with your children? A private investigator's surveillance can help if you suspect your caretaker is buying drugs or alcohol near your home, leaving the property while they are supposed to be with your children, or having unauthorized guests in your home

Your children mean the world to you, and it is your duty to protect them, even when they are in someone else's care. Why run the risk of getting incomplete or inaccurate results from an online nanny screening service that provides little interaction or accountability? Instead, hire an experienced, trustworthy private investigator to screen potential caregivers and help you avoid the kind of nightmarish situation that the Bracamonte family is currently experiencing.

We have had numerous clients come to us for assistance after they had already enlisted the services of a background check company or an employment agency claiming to have pre-screened their caregiver or nanny, only to discover the supposed search was sub-par or that no search was done at all.

We communicate with our clients, we are professionals and we provide written documentation of our services. We remain available for your questions and future requests.

Mike Garroutte is a long-time licensed private investigator in Costa Mesa, California. His company, Linked Investigations, is listed with the California Department of Consumer Affairs, Bureau of Security and Investigative Services, under license number PI 15568. Mr. Garroutte and his team of licensed investigators provide a full suite of investigative services nationally. For more information or a free, confidential consultation, contact us through the website at your convenience.

Thank you & Good Luck!

Published on: 
July 1, 2014
Tagged as:
Get a Free Consultation

Related Articles