A Move is when a student leaves their current Host Family, taking all their belongings, and will not be returning. If the student plans to return to their current Host Family, this is considered a Visit.
AFS students move for a variety of reasons. It is important for AFS volunteers to be aware of what is required in supporting and managing the student move.
Tips for Moves Compliance
The most effective action a team can take to ensure compliant moves is having a number of Pre-Screened families ready at the beginning of the cycle who can take in a student at a moment’s notice. Please see this article for more information.
In addition, the team can:
- Ensure Liaisons stay up to date with contacts and visits so Support volunteers/staff are aware of issues as soon as possible.
- Ensure all Hosting and Support volunteers know how and when to contact the Duty Officer in the event of a move.
- Report anticipated moves as soon as possible to ensure ample time for screening the new Host Family, even if the exact date of the move has not yet been determined.
Why is Moves compliance important?
AFS is required to report all placement changes to the Department of State within a specific amount of time. Failure to comply could jeopardize our status as a J-1 visa sponsor. Moves compliance is a component of the biennial Department of State audit of AFS. In addition, AFS must know where a student is at all times in the event of an emergency.
Do I need to be a screened Host Family to host a student for whom I’m a liaison?
Yes. Even if you are hosting your student for one night only for a non-support reason, you must be a fully-screened Host or Event Family. A new Liaison must be assigned for the time the student is with you.
Can I move a student if the AFS office is closed and I cannot reach my Regional Field Specialist (RFS)?
If a student must be moved due to urgent reasons that cannot wait until the AFS office is open, you must notify the Duty Officer on call and receive approval from them to move the student.
I have already let my RFS and Participant Support Specialist (PSS) know that a move will probably happen tonight. Once the decision is made to go ahead with the move tonight, do I still need to call the Duty Officer and get approval for the move?
Yes. Even if you have had discussions with staff about possibly moving the student, you must notify your RFS or, if occurring outside business hours, the Duty Officer before doing so.
Do I still need to alert staff before moving a student if the family has been pre-screened or has already hosted this year?
Yes. Any move must be reported to staff (during business hours) or the Duty Officer (outside business hours), regardless of the new family’s status.
How do I find out which families in my team have been pre-screened and are ready to take a student?
Fully-screened families who are not currently hosting, including Pre-Screen Families, can be found in MyAFS in the Team widget under Host Families > Screened Families Not Currently Hosting. In Global Link, search for families with a “Pre-Screen” Applied OA Type and check “Yes- Pre-Screen Only” Ready to Host status. Please click here for instructions and further information about Pre-Screened Families.