NEW YORK—A woman who used a nanny to help her son keep his apartment clean after he was hit by a car said she didn’t feel guilty about using her services.
In a story published Tuesday by The New York Times, Nanda Dominguez, of Brooklyn, said she was happy to work with her son for a while.
But she said she wasn’t happy when she saw him in court Tuesday and that the judge called her “a liar.”
“I was so proud,” she said.
“I felt like I was a real hero for the kid.”
A spokeswoman for the Manhattan district attorney declined to comment.
Dominguez’s story is the latest in a long line of cases in which parents have found themselves accused of not having enough supervision for their children, even after they were given the proper training.
“There are so many people out there who are so vulnerable who don’t know how to protect their children,” said Krista M. Miller, a child-safety researcher at the University of Virginia.
“They are under the impression that they have the responsibility for their own welfare.”
The New York City Department of Health Services (NYCHA) said last year that more than half of its adult caseloads were for cases involving children younger than 18, with a similar number in the state of New Jersey.
New York’s mayor and the state’s attorney general have said they have no plans to reform the state system or expand it.
In the case of Domingez, she said her son’s health had deteriorated in recent weeks.
“He was really, really stressed out, he was in a lot of pain, he couldn’t sleep at night, he had headaches,” she told The Times.
While Domingaux didn’t know the exact cause of her sons sudden deterioration, she told the paper she believed he had a rare form of mitochondrial disease called mitochondrial polycythemia vera, or P.V.V., which affects only a small percentage of the population.
P.C.V.’s causes are unknown, but there are signs it is present in a disproportionate number of cases.
The New Jersey Department of Children and Families confirmed Dominguez’s story but said it had no reason to believe she was a false positive.
“The New Brunswick, New Jersey, resident is a person who is a mother of three children, ages five, five and four years old,” said Christine G. Gee, a spokeswoman for N.J. DHF.
“She is not a suspect in the case.”
In other cases, New York health officials have blamed parents for failing to monitor children or provide adequate supervision.
In August, a mother and her daughter pleaded guilty to violating child-welfare laws by failing to keep a child with a developmental disability out of a New York hotel room after he had been taken to a nursing home.
That case, which was in New Jersey courts, was the latest to highlight the potential risks of nanny-service providers.
In June, a California couple pleaded guilty in New York federal court to providing an unlicensed nanny service to a woman with a history of mental illness.
A lawyer for the New York couple said in court papers that the couple was unaware they were providing nanny care, and that their client had “never been in a legal proceeding in the past five years in which a nannying law was involved.”
New York has been under a state law that allows for a parent to hire a nunchuck or similar device to supervise a child while the parent is not in the home.
The law also provides for fines of up to $250,000 for parents who violate it.