Always notify your AFS Liaison (or, if the liaison is not available, AFS Staff or another volunteer) in a timely manner for the following reasons:
- If your family and/or the participant are away from home for more than 24 hours (give contact details in case of an emergency).
- If serious issues arise, including but not limited to serious illness, injury, or hospitalization; arrest or detention by authorities; violation of AFS rules regarding driving, hitchhiking, or involvement with illegal drugs, potentially harmful or uncooperative behaviors or any other behavior that causes concern to your family or family members.
- If you learn that your participant has had unexcused absences from school, has missed classes, is failing classes, or is having other academic problems.
- If you are considering hosting any other exchange participant, even temporarily, so that the participant's parent(s)/guardian(s) can be contacted for approval of the double placement.
- If contact from the parent(s)/guardian(s) (via phone, Skype, or e-mail) interferes with the participant’s adaptation process.
- In the event of any and all changes in the status of the host family or participant, including but not limited to: changes in address, finances, employment, divorce, loss of a family member, changes in physical and/or mental health of a host family member, criminal arrests, or if anyone moves into the home.
- The participant has lost their DS2019 form(s) and/or Passport
- If the participant or a member of the household tests positive for COVID-19.
AFS encourages students to utilize their support network when challenges arise. Students might also feel inclined to approach other adults such as another host parent, for example if they are not yet sure who their liaison is or might be unsure about speaking with their liaison about their concerns. In the event that another AFS student confides in you or your hosted AFS student, please listen to their concerns and then inform your AFS Liaison and/or support volunteer leaders so that AFS can engage our support process to best address the concerns of the student while respecting not only their confidentiality but also the privacy of their host family or others involved. In many instances, we see that through effective dialogue and support resources, many challenges which arise can be resolved amicably and be transformed into intercultural learning opportunities. As with many things involving cross-cultural communication, further conversations between that student, their host family, their liaison and other local support volunteers may become necessary to move forward appropriately.