An AFS Team is a designated geographic area based on zip codes and includes the volunteers that fall within the boundaries of the area. AFS Teams vary in size where one team could be a city or several counties and another team could cover one state or more. AFS Teams can be structured to include volunteer units such as chapters or districts, or not. How a team is organized is determined by the local volunteer leadership with support from the staff Organizational Development Specialist (ODS), Regional Director (RD), Volunteer Services Specialist VSS), Hosting Programs Specialist (HPS), Study Abroad Field Specialist (SAFS).
Responsibilities of AFS Teams
- Nurture a climate within the team that strives for inclusion, a sense of fun, collegiality, social engagement, openness to trying new ideas, and collaboration
- Monitor the use and reporting of co-support funds
- Provide representation to the Annual National Volunteer Assembly (NVA)
- Ensure compliance of policies and regulations in accordance with AFS, CSIET and the U.S Department of State
- Ensure team's achievement of program goals in hosting, sending, and non-traditional AFS programs
- Deliver quality orientations for our volunteers and our hosting and sending programs that are in accordance with our regulations and learning objectives
- Develop and implement a plan for volunteer recognition
- Identify and determine opportunities where AFS can grow its program and educational impact in local communities within the team
Teams are required to only have two volunteer leadership positions filled by separate individuals who do not live in the same household. Those positions are:
Beyond these two positions, teams can organize volunteers and/or volunteer leaders in whatever manner that best enables the team to achieve their program and team goals. How a team organizes its leadership and its volunteers is done in consultation with the staff Organizational Development Specialist (ODS), and Regional Director (RD).
Teams receive co-support funding based on the actual number of participants host and sent from their team. Co-support funds can be used to cover the following team expenses:
- Hosting program expenses
- Local events for AFS host students (social and/or educational activities)
- Sending program expenses
- Returnee activities
- Team expenses
- PR/Marketing of AFS programs locally
- Volunteer training
- Attendance at regional or national training or meetings
- Volunteer recognition
- Reimbursement of volunteer expenses for AFS activities
Who Supports Our AFS Teams
The staff member that is responsible for being the main point of contact and support to a team is the TDS (Team Development Specialist). There is a TDS assigned to every team in the U.S. You can click here to see their job description and responsibilities.
In addition to the TDS, there are AFS department staff located at the AFS-USA National Service Center in NYC who are also available to support and provide guidance to volunteers. The staff positions and the volunteer tasks/roles they support are:
- Participant Support Specialists - staff contact for Team Support Coordinator, Associate Support Coordinator. Available to address questions regarding participant and/or family support issues.
- Field Finance - staff contact for Team and/or Chapter Treasurers. Available to address questions regarding Team finances and local team bank accounts and funds.
- Study Abroad Specialists - staff contact for Sending Coordinators. Available to address questions regarding the participant application process and details of our study abroad programs.
- Volunteer Resources Staff - staff contact for Volunteer Coordinators. Available to address questions regarding the volunteer registration process and chapter chartering.
- Sponsored Programs Hosting Coordinator - staff contact for Sponsored Programs Cluster Coordinators and Hosting Coordinators around the placement of YES and CB students.