In addition to monthly contacts, the Department of State requires that AFS conduct a special visit or visits to a host family's home at the beginning of the host student's placement there. For permanent placements this is a one-time visit that must take place within the first 60 days. For temporary or welcome placements, the first visit must take place within the first 30 days and then recur every 30 days until a permanent placement is found or that placement becomes permanent.
Within how many days must Permanent homes be visited?
A Permanent home must be visited within 60 days of a student’s arrival to that home.
Do Permanent homes need to be visited more than once?
No, only one in-home visit is required for a Permanent home. However, additional in-home visits may be needed if support issues arise.
Within how many days must Welcome and Temporary homes be visited?
A Welcome or Temporary home must be visited within 30 days of a student’s arrival to that home. (Please note, prior to the program start date, a host family start date is assigned which may later need to be updated depending on the student's final travel itinerary and/or national/local orientation schedule. Please contact your RFS if you feel that the actual host family start date is not accurately reflected in Global Link.)
Do Welcome and Temporary homes need to be visited more than once?
Yes, a Welcome or Temporary home must be visited every 30 days that the student remains in that home. Each visit must be within 30 days of the previous visit. For example, if a student arrives August 15th to a Welcome placement, an in-home visit must occur at some point from August 15th – September 14th. If this visit is conducted on September 9th, the next visit is due by October 9th.
Does a home need to be visited if the student is placed in the home for less than 30 days (i.e. a two week transition placement)?
No. If the student resides in the home for less than 30 days, the home does not need to be visited.
Can a liaison conduct the in-home visit(s)?
Yes, a liaison can conduct the in-home visit(s) as long as s/he is NOT the volunteer who conducted the host family’s interview. It is acceptable for the volunteer who conducted the host family’s interview to be assigned as the student and host family’s liaison; just keep in mind that an alternate volunteer will need to complete the in-home visit(s).
Can the same volunteer conduct multiple in-home visits?
Yes. As long as the volunteer did not also conduct the host family interview, they may submit as many in-home visits as necessary and still be in compliance.
Who else can conduct the in-home visit(s)?
Any AFS staff and registered volunteers that have completed the Hosting and Support Affiliations training (HSA) and the Department of State Local Coordinator certification (DoS) can conduct the in-home visit(s).
Does the staff or volunteer conducting the in-home visit(s) need to live within 120 miles of the student and host family’s home?
No. While the Department of State requires that all students and host families live within 120 miles of a “local coordinator” (d) (5), which AFS fulfills by assigning liaisons that live within 120 miles of the students and host families’ home, the Department of State does not specify that the “sponsor representative” conducting the in-home visit must live within 120 miles, only that the “sponsor representative” needs to have completed a Criminal Background Check and the required trainings mentioned above.
What happens when a student moves?
If a student moves to a Permanent home, the new home will need to be visited within 60 days of the student moving into that home. If a student moves to a Temporary home, the new home will need to be visited within 30 days of the student moving into that home and again within 30 days after the first visit if a Permanent home has not yet been found.
Can an in-home visit be considered a student and/or host family monthly contact also?
Yes, if the volunteer speaks with the student and/or host family privately while visiting their home, the visit can also serve as the monthly contact with the student and/or host family.
30/60 Day In-Home Visit Best Practices
- Make sure to select 30/60 In-Home contact when doing an in-home visit and assessment, as opposed to an in-person, in-home contact. Please make sure to select the correct host family for the 30/60 contact.
- Utilize the 1=4 contact method. If you visit your student in person in the host family home within the month of their arrival, this one visit can fulfill 4 contact and visit requirements. Please see this article for more information.
- Has your student changed bedrooms? If so, note this within the contact and if permissible please take a photo of the new bedroom to share with AFS.
- Has a host family moved? Or are they planning to move? If so, please make sure you are noting this within the contact and alerting your RFS. Please see this article for additional information.