*As per the Volunteer Agreement
AFS-USA volunteers are required to report any concerns about the health and well-being of AFS participants to the appropriate support contact person for their volunteer team and, where appropriate or required, as outlined below, to AFS-USA staff.
AFS-USA Volunteers understand that AFS-USA is required by law to promptly notify the US State Department of any unusual or exceptional incidents that may bring the Department or AFS-USA into notoriety or disrepute. Further, AFS-USA must report all incidents involving alleged sexual misconduct.
Additional situations that must be reported include, but are not limited to,
- Events involving serious bodily injury or death
- Allegations that the host family has taken or misappropriated the student’s money or credit cards
- Incidents involving the criminal justice system (police, child protective services, law enforcement, etc.)
- Patterns of behavior problems (substance abuse, aggressive physical contact, severe bullying, etc.)
- Mental health issues (eating disorder, cutting, suicidal ideation, suicide attempt, etc.)
- Host parent substance abuse
- Threat of negative press, foreign government or embassy involvement (incident expected to bring DoS or the exchange visitor program into notoriety or disrepute).
- Events, alleged or actual, where the student is the victim or perpetrator of sexual assault
- Public events or natural disasters directly involving student safety (school shooting/violence, earthquake, tornado, flood, etc.)
- Missing/runaway students longer than 24 hours
AFS-USA Volunteers understand that when AFS is informed of any incident or allegation involving the actual or alleged sexual exploitation or abuse of a participant, the Manager of Government and Legal Affairs will review state statutes regarding mandatory reporting and consult with AFS legal counsel to determine the appropriate course of action.
To reach the AFS-USA staff, dial 1-800-AFS-INFO, or 1-800-237-4636, and press 9 to be connected to our 24/7 participant support line.