AFS is structured so that participants and host families work through the local volunteer support system when issues arise, as outlined in the Host Family Handbook. In addition, AFS maintains an email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) that participants and host families can use to contact staff with any concerns.
The AFS Hotline is monitored during business hours by Risk Management and Quality Assurance staff who is responsible for responding to any message received at that address. If there is concern about how a situation is being handled by the local volunteers and/or staff currently involved, a neutral third party will review the matter.
Contact is made by someone not already involved in the matter in order to allow for an objective assessment of the situation. In most instances, the “neutral third party” is the Participant Support Manager or the Director of Participant Support. Once that contact is made, further communication with the sender of the email and any other involved parties falls in line with the policies and procedures outlined in the Host Family Handbook.