Monthly Contacts with your Liaison
Monthly check-ins allow time for you and your hosted participant to explore positive and negative aspects of your respective experiences. They provide the opportunity to speak frankly with someone outside the home who understands AFS and the unique challenges encountered during this experience.
Your liaison will provide:
- Assistance to you and your hosted participant as needed throughout the hosting experience.
- Individual contact with you and your hosted participant each month (the first of these contacts with your hosted participant must be conducted in person).
- For the year program, one in-person visit with you in the fall and one in the spring; for the semester program, one in-person visit in the fall (all other monthly check-ins may be by phone or in-person).
In addition to supporting you and your participant, the liaison is also responsible for fulfilling the “monthly contact” requirement established by the U.S. Department of State, which regulates high school exchange programs in the United States. AFS is required to maintain monthly contact with every participant and host family involved in the exchange program, and this is achieved through our liaisons. We ask that you be as flexible as possible in arranging time in your schedule to speak with your liaison.
*In addition to the in-person visit, an AFS Volunteer other than the one who conducted your family interview will conduct an in-home visit within 60 days of the program start for semester and year families. For families hosting temporarily, you will have an in-home visit every 30 days until you finish hosting. These visits may be done by your liaison if they did not do your interview.
Making Effective Use of Your Liaison’s Assistance
1. Cultivate and maintain the relationship: This relationship enables you and your participant to process the experience of the program every step of the way.
2. Contact your liaison: You do not need to wait for your liaison to contact you. You should feel free to contact your Liaison if you are having a problem, or even if you aren’t!
3. Don’t wait: Even seemingly small issues between you and your participant can grow if left unaddressed. Your liaison is there to offer:
a) Advice from a person outside the family with extensive experience and knowledge of AFS.
b) Mediation by a neutral third party, which often helps each side to better understand the other’s point of view by offering more objective observations and suggestions.