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Re: Being asked about my current/old job by applicants
I would put nothing but good things or easily provable facts in an email. If you want to talk on the phone or have a cup of coffee with them, that's different. Even if meeting in person or "off the record," stick the the facts, don't express a lot of negative opinions. You don't want to burn bridges. You never know when you may end up working with/for someone from that old job.
I understand that you want to take care of your kids. What would be worse, scaring off a potential applicant, or having someone leave after a year because they didn't know what they were getting into?