As a Support Volunteer (Liaison or Support Coordinator) you might find that your participant is involved in a serious or emergency situation, as listed below. For further information on serious and emergency issues and the support counseling tools available see, Support Counseling for a Continuum of Issues.
- As a Liaison, hopefully you will not have to deal with a serious or emergency event. Should one occur you should immediately contact your Chapter or Team Support Coordinator. Best practice is your Support Coordinator will then immediately contact the National Service Center in New York with the information or call the Duty Officer if outside of business hours. If you can not reach your Support Coordinator you must make the call to the National Service Center at 800 237-4636 or the Duty Officer
- The Support Coordinator (or in larger Teams, possibly a Associate Support Coordinator) is the local team's designated point of contact with the assigned Participant Support Staff Specialist (PSS) at the National Office. As the support case develops the Support Coordinator's role is to lead the local team effort, working closely with the PSS in the New York office, to resolve the situation. The guidelines below are built around this best practice.
- If the local Support Coordinator or Associate Support Coordinator(s) are not available or possibly too remote to directly assist the participant, the Liaison will need to work directly with National Support staff to resolve the case. Additional local Support resources to consider might include, the Chapter/Area Team Chair, a Support Host Family, other experienced Liaisons, the Hosting Coordinator and finally other registered volunteers in the Chapter/Team.
- It is a best practice to always have two volunteers attend Support meetings addressing high level situations, student moves, or whenever there is any type of extreme emotional, physical safety and/or legal concerns.
Here are links to guidelines for the following specific support situations located on AFS Wiki:
*NOTE these links are to private pages on AFS Wiki and will require your wiki login and password
- Participant Moves
- Early Returns
- Challenges Adapting
- Host Family Issues
- Academic Commitment
- Infractions of the 3 AFS Rules
- Alcohol Consumption
- Medical Questions
- Supporting Participants with ADD or LD
- Eating Disorders
- Suicide Expressions/Thoughts/Attempts
- Self Mutilation
- Professional/Psychiatric Counseling
- Accessing Pornography on the Internet
- Sexual Abuse/Rape
- Pregnancy or Abortion
- Missing Participants
- Death of a Relative or Participant
- School Shootings
- Legal Guidelines for Liaisons