Our primary responsibility in all support situations is ensure the safety and well-being of our participants.
Except to respond to a critical safety concern, do not attempt to resolve the situation alone. As soon as time permits, consult with the responsible support volunteers and support staff.
Approach the resolution of the issues as a “Support Team” effort.
The “Support Team” generally consists of the Host Parents, Liaison, Support Coordinator, and National Support Staff Specialist in the USA and extends to the partner country staff and natural parents.
Two volunteers should be present, usually the Support Coordinator and Liaison, when a student is moved or there are any extreme emotional, safety or legal concerns.
If the “Support Team” as described above does not exist due to a vacant position, illness, vacation, etc. consult with your supervisor, the Team/Chapter Chair or National Support Staff to determine who has responsibility.
Follow established AFS procedures as applicable to the situation, for the protection of the participant, volunteers and the AFS organization, while recognizing that each participant is unique.
An Early Return is only decided by the National Support Staff, in consultation with the Partner Country, based on information provided by local Support volunteers.
A host family change is often an emergency due to State Department placement requirements and/or the impact on the participant.
A host family change, after Support Counseling does not change the situation, is usually best decided by local Support volunteers or may be decided when the Host family informs the volunteers that they no longer want to host the participant.
Another reason for a host family change is a finding that the host family is inappropriate.