Service cases define a person’s AFS activity. There are Host Family, Participant (Sending), and Volunteering Service Cases. All are discussed in the article below. However there are a few things common to all service cases: Service Stages, Open vs. Closed, and Program Codes.
1. Service Stage: No matter their type, all service cases go through the same Service Stages as defined here:
- Inquiry - These people are considered "leads" and are in the process of learning more about AFS.
- Application - Once someone has started an application or has been SENT an application, they are in the Application stage.
- Admission - This stage indicates that the application was submitted and is being reviewed by staff.
- Preparation - The application is complete and approved, but the AFS activity has not started yet. For example, the exchange student the family will be hosting has not arrived. Or the sending student has not yet left the U.S.
- Participation - The person is/was a registered volunteer, is hosting or did host a student, or is on an AFS abroad program or went on one in the past.
2. Open vs. Closed: If in any of the above stages a person decides to no longer pursue hosting, volunteering, or going abroad, the service case will move from Open to Closed. In addition, once a program has ended (the exchange student goes home or the person's volunteer registration lapses), the service case will move from Open to Closed. Note that if a person interested in Sending becomes unresponsive we leave the service case open so that they will continue to have access to the Sending Portal. However, unresponsive Host Family and Volunteering Service Cases are closed if we don't hear back from an individual after repeated attempts via phone and email.
3. Program Code: For Host Family and Participant (Sending) Service Cases, the Program Code defines the year, cycle, and program through a series of two-character codes that looks something like YPscNH17. Volunteering service cases do not have a program code since people often volunteer over the course of many years. Here is the Program Code defined:
- Duration - the first two letters define the length of the program
- Content - the next letters (usually in lower case) are the content codes.
- Program Start - the next two letters are either NH or SH, and they define the time of year in which the program started.
- Year - the final two digits indicate the year the program started.
For more details on the Program Codes, click here. Please keep reading for more on the various types of service cases.
Host Family Service Cases
Families should have a service case for each year they are interested in hosting - whether or not they actually host a student that year. In the example below, the family has a Host Family Service Case for ever year from 2013 to 2017.
We can tell from the Stage column that the family did not host in the year 2014 because their Stage ended in Application and not Participation.
Please note that for Host Family Service Cases, the family's service case must match that of the Hosted Student. In the example above the student the family hosted in 2016 was a year-long student, but the family might have only hosted the student for a semester or another length of time.
To learn more, you can click on the Service Ref. number and visit View Host Family Applications to read more about host family application stages. If you have questions, please contact your Team Development Specialist.
Volunteering Service Cases
Unlike Host Family and Participant Service Cases, Volunteering Service Cases are not linked to a year or program. Individuals interested in volunteering should only have one Volunteering Service Case which follows them through their interest, application, and registration and will be closed if they no longer wish to volunteer with AFS-USA or their registration expires. For more information on key parts of a Volunteering Service Case, please visit How to Check a Volunteer's Registration Status. Any questions related to volunteer registration can also be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!