Support Coordinators help oversee all AFS participants and host family support within the team. As a member of the Volunteer Leadership Team, Support Coordinators identify, coordinate, and empower volunteers to have the skills, training, and support they need in order to provide a quality intercultural learning experience for all AFS participants and families. Additionally, Support Coordinators work with their assigned Participant Support Specialist in the AFS-USA New York office when they need guidance, and when concerns about a student or host family become greater.
Support Coordinators are leaders within the team and often wear many hats. There also may be more than one Support Coordinator depending on a team. Some of their responsibilities include but are not limited to:
- Provide proactive guidance for liaisons to ensure students and host families feel supported
- Ensure AFS support standards and Department of State compliance is followed through training liaisons and giving direct feedback
- Ensure required contacts and visits take place for all hosted students, host families and schools, in situations where the team does not have a volunteer Compliance and/or Liaison Coordinator
- Manage mid-level to high-level support situations in direct consultation with the team’s assigned Participant Support Specialist (and in collaboration with the Associate Support Coordinator where applicable). In some situations, a Support Department manager or the Director will be involved. It is the Support Coordinator’s responsibility to know when to involve the Participant Support Specialist (or Duty Officer in urgent situations outside of office hours)
- Meet with host families, hosted participants, and liaisons as needed to assist in problem-solving and conflict resolution. Sometimes this means simply listening to all perspectives involved
- Ensure written and dated documentation for all support cases in a timely manner
- Collaborate and consult with the team's Participant Support Specialist. In some cases, this means taking direction from AFS-USA such as when a participant’s health and safety is concerned
- Serve as a liaison (not to be confused with an AFS liaison) between the local team and AFS-USA office.