Pre-Screen Host Family Process
The Pre-Screen Host Family process allows designated families the ability to be pre-screened by Hosting Operations and RMCQA staff before being linked to a student. This provides teams with a list of local host families that have volunteered to host in the event of an urgent student move, while helping to avoid non-compliant moves.
How to Pre-Screen a Host Family:
If you know of a family who would like to be designated as a Pre-Screen Host Family, please contact your Regional Field Specialist (RFS) and let them know. The RFS will send that family an application with the Applied OA Type of “Pre-Screen.”
This OA will be the same as the standard full-year/semester OA. It should be completed just as if the family was planning to host a student for a full year. In addition to the OA, the family will need to complete an in-home interview, background checks, and provide references. The only difference is that no school paperwork will be required prior to the student being linked.
Once the family has been fully screened, staff will set the “Ready to Host” status to “Yes- Pre-Screen Family Only.” This will signify to volunteers that the host family has been pre-screened and is ready to take in a student.
How to Ensure a Student Move to a Pre-Screened Host Family is Compliant:
A move to a pre-screened family is compliant as long as:
- There is no school change and no non-traditional paperwork* needed or
- There is no school change, the placement will last 7 nights or less, AND the student will move back to their previous family or is linked to another fully screened host family (Event Family placement type) or
- Staff is notified of the move ahead of time, in order that all required screening elements (including any non-traditional paperwork and/or new PAF) are obtained, reviewed, and deemed compliant before the student moves into the home.
*Because non-traditional placements often require additional paperwork from host families, overseas partners, and hosted students that typically need extra time to obtain, we recommend that the following types of families not be designated as Pre-Screen:
Single parents (a single adult with no children living in the home)
Any family that is already hosting an exchange student through AFS or another organization.
Finding Fully Screened Host Families in MyAFS
You can access a list of all fully screened families (this includes, but is not limited to, designated Pre-Screen families) not currently hosting in your Area Team through MyAFS. Use this feature to quickly identify a compliant placement in the event of an upcoming or emergency move*:
- Click on the “Team” tab in the blue column on the left side of the screen.
- Click on the “Host Families” button at the top of the screen.
- Click on the “Screened Families Not Currently Hosting” link just below the “Host Families” button.
All the host families listed in this section have completed a full Host Family Online Application, (this excludes Event, 18+ and short-term program applications) and are marked “Yes” or “Yes- Pre-Screen Family Only” for the Ready to Host status. If a family is missing any item, including the Host Family Orientation, they are not considered fully screened and will not appear. If the family will be hosting in the future, the placements dates will be indicated under the family’s name.
*Please note that this list may include non-traditional placements, which require additional paperwork for a move to be considered compliant. Please try to avoid placing students in a double, single parent or same-sex placement for emergency moves so staff has time to obtain any additional needed paperwork.
Finding Pre-Screen Host Families in Global Link
If you wish to access a list of designated Pre-Screen families only, you can so in Global Link following these steps:
- Go into the “Host Family Application” search tab.
- Under “Area Team” select the Team you would like to show.
- Under “Applied OA Type” select the last option, “Pre-Screen”.
- Under “Ready to Host?” select “Yes – Pre-Screen Family Only”.
- Hit the “Search” button.
This will provide a list of all designated Pre-Screen host families who have been screened by Hosting Operations and Compliance and are ready to host a student. For more detailed information on how to search for these families, please see this video which is also attached below.
Can a Liaison/Volunteer be a Pre-Screen Host Family?
AFS highly recommends that liaisons and other volunteers who might wish to host a student – even if only for a short or overnight period – complete a Pre-Screen Host Family OA. Since volunteers must be fully screened as a host family before hosting a student, it’s best if they have a complete application on file for the current program cycle in the event that they wish to host a student overnight, in the case of an urgent move or otherwise.