Providing information, support and resources to AFS host families, that supports the information and advice given by local volunteers, is an important priority for AFS-USA to ensure successful hosting experiences.
In the past this information was shared with host families via a Host Family Handbook. Over the years this transitioned from a physical handbook to a printable PDF then more recently to an online resource called the Global Family Tools Platform.
Starting in July 2023 all information and resources for host families that would previously have been found in the Host Family Handbook can be found in Help & Learning for Host Families.
This online database of articles, information and activities can be accessed by host families via their AFS account. When they log in to access their hosting application and student information, they will have access to staff and volunteer contact information, liaison details and travel information (as it becomes available) and a link to Help & Learning for Host Families.
Help & Learning for Host Families has a similar look and feel to Help & Learning for Volunteers, so will be user friendly for any volunteers wanting to assist host families in finding resources. Information that would previously have been found in the Host Family Handbook is organized according to the various stages of the hosting experience. There is a separate section for Emergency, Health and Safety information to make it very easy to access and there is a separate section for Additional Intercultural and Learning Resources that we hope will help in enriching the learning experience that hosting provides.
Moving from a static ‘handbook’ to a living, online resource allows us to provide updates to information on an ongoing basis, ensuring that important information provided to our host families is as up to date as possible