On occasion, host parents may need to leave a participant in the care of a friend or relative for short periods of time. This is permitted when a business trip, family emergency, or other unavoidable situation requires the temporary absence of the host family for up to four nights. Prudent Parent guidelines also apply when the host family gives permission for the student to stay overnight with a friend.
In such cases, the host family may treat the participant as they would their own family member and arrange for appropriate, temporary care without first obtaining permission from AFS. However, prior to leaving their participant with another responsible adult or family, the host parents must inform their AFS liaison of: (1) the duration of the stay, and (2) complete contact information for the adult or family with whom the student will temporarily reside. In these cases, the friend or relative who will host the student on a temporary basis is not required to complete the AFS application process.
If the temporary absence exceeds four nights and/or the host parents are unable to provide temporary care for a student and need assistance from AFS, AFS volunteers or staff will identify a screened family for the temporary placement.
FAQs about Prudent Parent Stays
Q. Do I need to be a screened Host or Event Family to a host a student for whom I’m a liaison?
A. Yes. Even if your student will only be staying with you for a night and returning to their Host Family, this is considered a Visit. You must be a fully-screened Host Family or Event Family.
Q. Can I provide a Prudent Parent Stay for a student for whom I'm a liaison if I have a relationship with the host family and they are comfortable putting their children with me?
A. No. By definition, a liaison should not be a friend or relative of the host family in order to ensure that the student is supported by an objective third party. As a result, a host family and liaison relationship would not permit a Prudent Parent Stay. You would need to be a screened Host or Event Family in order to host your student for any length of time.
Q. Can I provide a Prudent Parent Stay for a student upon arrival?
A. No. Prudent Parent Stays are not to be utilized upon a student’s arrival. When a student first arrives the goal is for the student and host family to get to know each other to settle in and feel comfortable with one another. This cannot be achieved if upon arrival the student is not in the care of the host family but rather a friend or relative of the host family.
Q. Can a stay of four nights or less with another AFS Host Family qualify as a Prudent Parent Stay?
A. Yes, as long as the stay is arranged by the families themselves and not AFS.
Q. Can a student have a Prudent Parent Stay while volunteers look for a new family for that student?
A. No. Prudent Parent Stays are only intended to be used in cases where the student will return to the Host Family’s home. Therefore, a move arranged by AFS volunteers out of a Host Family for support reasons would not qualify as a Prudent Parent Stay.
- For important information about volunteers who wish to host, click here. This link will take you to the Moves FAQ page.