Volunteers should consult the COVID-19: FAQs and Resources section for the most up-to-date information regarding Hosting and Sending programs in the 2021-22 cycle.
Round Table Best Practices Contacts and Visits 2018 AFS Summit
- Only assign one student per liaison so that the liaison doesn’t get overwhelmed.
- In larger teams, use a “pod” or some other system whereby one person is responsible for overseeing the work of 3-5 liaisons. This person can intervene to ensure that required contacts and visits happen in a timely manner. Also helps build accountability to peers.
- Use google maps to assign liaisons to students placed in close proximity to each other.
- Identify a Liaison and/or Compliance Coordinator.
- Have an in-person liaison training prior to the start of the program to make sure expectations are clear and liaisons know how to record contacts.
- Stress the importance of the liaison role with Liaisons. Let them know host families want to receive support from them.
- Have follow up in-person gatherings in the fall and winter to support liaisons.
- Hold monthly online or phone conferences with liaisons to discuss issues and share insights.
- Message liaisons on a regular basis.
- Recognize a job well done on a monthly basis.
- Mention the role of the liaison during the Host Family interview.
- Help the liaison establish their relationship with the host family early on by inviting the liaisons to the in-person Host Family orientation, welcome picnic or other team events.
- Reinforce with host families that contacts and visits are required by the Department of State.
- Tell the Host Family to note the liaison as an emergency contact with the school and the liaison will be more likely to be given updates regarding the student’s school experience.
- Have pre-screened host families in order to have compliant, emergency moves.