AHN Host Family Code of Conduct
Note: This policy is subject to change at any time. Please check all AHN Policies on a regular basis for updates.
Congratulations on choosing to participate in a Homestay organized by the AHN. This Host Family Code of Conduct sets out the guidelines and expectations for behavior that apply to Hosts participating in a Homestay, and it should be read together with the AHN Host Agreement as applicable. The Host Family Code of Conduct has been developed by AHN to ensure the safety and well-being of all students participating in the AHN Program (“Program”). All capitalized terms have the same meaning as defined in the agreements, and the terms of the agreements will apply to the extent of any inconsistency with this policy. The Host Family and all individuals over the age of 18 who reside in the Host Family’s home, are required to fully abide by the rules, regulations and standards of conduct set forth herein.
Please read through this policy carefully and contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions. It is your responsibility as the Host (as well as any other applicant named on your application form and registered by AHN as a Host) to ensure all residents in your Home abide by the obligations outlined in this Policy. This includes residents under the age of 18.
- AHN will take reasonable steps to assist Hosts and Guests in the event of an emergency or other issue and will answer any questions you have about AHN’s services. Guests and Hosts have access to 24/7 support through AHN’s after hours’ emergency line – 866 999 9076.
- In keeping with the provisions of the agreements, AHN is committed to creating positive outcomes for all Homestay participants and may act to remove a Guest from a Homestay or take any other action it deems to be in the best interests of the Guest, Host or AHN at any time. AHN will make every attempt to assist if emergency accommodation is required.
- For more information about AHN Services please see your AHN Host Agreement (as applicable), visit our website or contact us.
Both Hosts and Guests must:
- Treat each other and every other person in the Home in a fair, respectful and polite manner. This means being considerate of other peoples’ feelings and needs and includes things like not touching any person or their personal property without their permission, keeping your environment clean and tidy and saying thank you to someone who does something for you.
- Understand that your customs or beliefs may be different to those of your Guest or Student. Have an open mind. One of the most important benefits of a Homestay is ‘cultural exchange’ – the chance to learn about someone else’s experiences and values. All participants need to be treated with respect, including when carrying out reasonable cultural or religious practices in the Home. Discrimination of any kind is not acceptable.
- Work together to make the Homestay a success. It is very important that both Guests and Hosts make an effort to communicate clearly and effectively about important matters and cooperate to resolve any misunderstandings or issues that might arise. It takes contribution from both sides to create a comfortable and enjoyable environment within the Home. Make sure that you provide your Guest or Host with current contact details and any other important information about you they should know and be careful not to share any information you receive with anyone else without the Guest or Hosts’ permission.
Host Family Obligations:
- Make yourself and your Home available to your Guest. You must be a permanent resident of the Home and be available to your Guest on a reasonably frequent basis. You must specifically be present at the Home when your Guest first arrives or arrange for a trusted friend or family member with a current background check to be present. Your Guest should also be able to contact you within reasonable hours.
- The Host Family will maintain open communication, by phone, text message, e-mail or in-person as deemed necessary by AHN, with the Local Manager and/or any other representative of AHN. The Host Family will respond within 24 hours to all communications received from the Local Manager and/or another representative of AHN. The Host Family will allow the Local Manager, or another representative of AHN to enter the Host Family’s home, with reasonable notice to the Host Family, for the purpose of ensuring or confirming the Student’s well-being and care.
- The Host Family will provide the Guest with a safe, healthy, caring and loving environment during the Guest’s stay in their home. Generally, the Host Family will treat the Guest as a member of their family. The Host Family will interact with the Guest daily, will encourage the Guest to participate in the Host Family’s activities and will treat the Guest with kindness and respect. Include your Guest in normal activities and help them to learn. Your Guest’s privacy is important, but you should make a genuine effort to involve them in your Home and community. Be flexible, sensitive and patient when communicating with your Guest and use clear, understandable English.
- Guests will be required to abide by the AHN Student Standards of Conduct. A copy of the Guest Standards of Conduct will be provided to the Host Family prior to the beginning of the Enrollment Period. Host Family is expected to review and become familiar with the Guest Standards of Conduct. In the event Host Family becomes aware of any Guest violation or potential violation of the Guest Standards of Conduct, Host Family Agrees to immediately report such incident to the AHN Local Manager.
- Host Family will not exhibit abusive, aggressive or otherwise inappropriate behavior toward the Guest, and will not permit any family members or guests to exhibit such behavior. The Host Family will honor and respect the Guest’s privacy.
- The Host Family will establish house rules before the Guest arrives. Within 72 hours of arrival, the Host Family will provide a home tour and openly communicate with the Guest to discuss house and bathroom rules, expectations, and standards of behavior; this may be in addition to the Guest standards of Conduct, while the Guest is living with the Host Family. Make your Guest aware of the layout of the Home, any instructions (for household appliances or amenities such as a pool). The Host Family will ensure that a written copy of the House Rules is available to the Guest at all times.
- The Guest should have internal access to the Home at all times, meaning you must provide a key, security code or other means of entry in case you are not present at the Home at any time.
- The Host Family must always reside in the home. Any exceptions must be notified and approved by the Local Manger. The Host Family will ensure that the Student is not unsupervised for more than six hours if 15 years old or younger unless previously approved by the Local Manager; the Student will not be unsupervised for more than twelve hours if 17 years old or younger unless previously approved by the Local Manager. The Student will not be unsupervised overnight if 17 years old or younger under any condition; a High School Student above the age of 18 cannot be left unsupervised overnight without prior approval from the Local Manger and written approval from AHN.
- Hosts must notify AHN, in advance, of any short-term visitors or new residents so that appropriate checks can be arranged.
- No more than two international guests may reside in the home, unless approved by AHN Management; No other international guest may reside in the home from another agency or student service provider without prior notification to and approval from AHN. If you are hosting an international guest directly or from another homestay provider, they are not required to obtain clearances, however, you must sight their visa for validity and let AHN know immediately if you have any concerns.
- The Host Family will assist the Guest in establishing local contacts with banking institutions, appropriate medical providers, a mobile phone provider, and identify a safe place in case of emergency.
- The Host Family will not lend money to the Guest, nor accept a loan from a Guest. The Host Family will not open any joint account nor make any financial arrangement with the Guest The Host Family will not co-sign on any accounts and to never exchange money directly with Guests or their and family members. The host family agrees not to discuss financial matters with Guests including those related to this agreement.
- The Host Family will encourage the Guest to limit the duration and frequency of communication with their home-country friends and family to the extent necessary to promote the Guest’s successful participation in the Program.
- The Host Family will attend all information and orientation sessions and host family gatherings organized by AHN. If the Host Family will be unable to attend any of these functions or events, then the Host Family will give prior notice to their assigned AHN, Local Coordinator (“Local Coordinator”).
- The Host Family will ensure that the Guest removes all of their belongings at the conclusion of residency. The Host Family will consult with the Local Manager for summer-storage of the Student’s personal belongings. The Host Family will be responsible for recording any discarded or gift items over $600.00 estimated value on their taxes as applicable.
- The Host Family must agree to accept personal responsibility for students under the age 18 pertaining to care, support, and protection.
When hosting Students in high school or younger enrolled in a Long-Term School Program:
- The Host Family will be assigned an AHN Local Manager who will assist Student and Host Family in facilitating Student’s participation in the AHN Program. The Host Family will meet with the Local Manager at the Host Family’s house on a quarterly (twice per academic semester) basis to discuss matters relating to the Student’s participation in the Program.
- Host families agree to monitor the Students whereabouts at all times and provide standard parenting activities such as transportation to and from school, (and to academic and some extracurricular events, and attend parent/teacher meetings, orientations, and other such meetings if agreed upon as part of the student’s placement)
- The Host Family will keep AHN informed of any issues or concerns relating to the Student and will take all reasonable action to ensure and support the Student’s full participation in the Program, including as related to the Student’s enrollment in School. The Host Family will contact the Local Manager promptly if the Host Family learns that the Student is experiencing academic, emotional or social difficulties.
- The Host Family will notify the school and Local Manager if the Student is going to be late or absent from school; the reason for the tardiness or absence must be provided. Notify AHN if you believe there has been excessive non-attendance from school.
- The Host will never leave the Student under age 18 alone at Home overnight or without an approved adult who has a current background check and notifying AHN immediately of any overnight visitors who are not permanent residents with the appropriate checks.
- The Host will provide AHN with at least two weeks’ notice if going on holidays without the Student so that a suitable temporary homestay can be arranged.
- The Student is prohibited from possessing, consuming and being under the influence of alcohol or tobacco products. The Host Family will not purchase alcohol or tobacco products for the Student nor provide the Student with alcohol or tobacco products of any kind. The Host Family will take reasonable steps to prevent the Student’s access to alcohol and tobacco products in the home.
- The host will immediately notify AHN of any incident or allegation of child abuse - See Sexual Abuse Prevention Policy.
If providing meals is part of the placement agreement, provide healthy food for your Guest. This means preparing adequate healthy meals in accordance with the agreed meal plan detailed in the placement report, with at least one meal per day consisting of meat/other protein, vegetables and rice/noodles. Ensure you have adequate grocery items for any meals (breakfast or lunch) that your Guest may be required to prepare themselves and take the time to show them what to do.
When hosting Students in high school or younger enrolled in a Long-Term School Program: The Host Family will provide or ensure the Student has access to three proper and nutritious meals per day. Hosts will work with students to understand their meal preferences and provide a reasonable variety of options for each meal. Breakfast maybe self-serve food options, but hosts must work with students to understand how to access and prepare the food items. Lunch on non-school days may be self-serve food options provided by the host. On school days, students can be shown how to pack their own lunch using self-serve food options provided by the host or will purchase lunch at school at their own expense. Hot, home-cooked dinners must be prepared regularly and provided for students each night, with exceptions of restaurant food or leftovers. Leftovers, instant or frozen food is acceptable as an exception but not on a regular basis. The student must always have access to clean, safe drinking water and reasonable, student-preferred nutritious snacks unless food is being regulated for a medical or health reason.
Show your Guest around the community. Help your Guest to understand the route to and from their Education Provider. If this involves public transport, show them how to buy transport tickets. Make your Guest aware of places of interest within the community such as shops, parks and important services such as banks, post offices and local police stations. Also ensure they know the emergency contact number is 911. For further information, please refer to the AHN Travel Policy
When hosting Students in high school or younger enrolled in a Long-Term School Program:
- The Host Family will arrange the transportation of the Student to and from the airport, at the beginning and conclusion of the Term or otherwise as necessary, in conjunction with the Local Manager.
- The Host Family will not permit the Student under age 18 to operate any motorized vehicles. AHN does not permit students under age 18 to obtain a United States driver’s permit/license while participating in the Program.
- The host will ensure the Student is not travelling by public transport late at night. Hosts should pick Students up from late-night school events or encourage them to take a taxi. (Please view AHN Travel Policy for Students in High School or Younger.)
1) The home of the Host Family must be equipped with all utilities including heat, hot water, electricity, wireless internet, etc. Help your Guest settle into a comfortable and safe Home.
2) The Host Family will provide the Guest with a structurally sound, clean, private bedroom accessible from within the home with a door. The Guest should be provided with convenient access to a lockable bathroom and toilet facilities. Suitable bedroom requirements:
a.) Bed (twin bed at minimum including a frame and mattress reasonably new and in good repair). Futons, day beds, air mattresses, and mattresses without frames are not permitted.
b.) The student must be provided with clean and reasonably new appropriate bedding, linens, towels, pillows, etc. in good condition.
c.) Desk and chair (reasonably new and well-kept; presentable)
d.) Dresser or chest of drawers and proper hanging space for clothing
e.) Appropriate, high-quality lighting illuminating the room for study and projects
f.) Comfortably cool/warm depending on the season. *Note: For occasional hosting of short-term students’ high school and younger, students may share a room but must be provided with separate beds.
3) The Host Family will provide the Guest with access to wireless internet with sufficient bandwidth to support schoolwork and communication apps such as FaceTime.
4) The Host Family will provide the Guest with access to a kitchen and living facilities including a washer and dryer and assist them in learning to use the facilities appropriately.
5) Your Home must be fitted with working smoke detectors and comply with all local codes and regulations.
6) The Host Family will not engage in, nor associate with any person related to, the possession, use, or trafficking of illegal drugs or controlled substances. The Host Family, family members and guests will not engage in excessive consumption of alcohol in the presence of or while caring for the Guest.
7) The Host Family will not initiate or participate in any sexually oriented communications or acts with the Guest, and will take reasonable steps to prevent the Guests’ access to sexually explicit photographs, written materials, films or other media in the home.
8) The Host Family will monitor the Guest for age appropriate relationships and ensure that the Guest under age 18 is not unsupervised behind closed doors with peers of the opposite sex.
9) The Host Family shall not require the Guest to maintain the Host Family home or yard, babysit, cook, prepare family meals, except to the extent which the activity is a part of the family’s typical socialization. The Host Family may require the Guest to maintain and clean his/her own belongings and private quarters and to observe reasonable standards of tidiness and cleanliness in common areas within the home.
10) The Host Family will prohibit any firearms or controlled weapons in the home unless:
a) The Host Family has obtained the necessary and legal permits to possess the weapon. The Host Family must present such permits to AHN, upon request.
b) The permit holder has received and attended a Basic Firearms Course and, or equivalent training though a government agency. i.e., U.S Military or Police Academy
c) The weapon is maintained unloaded and stored in a locked cabinet, safe, gun vault or storage case that is not accessible to minors in the home and is secured with either a trigger lock or cable lock.
d) If relevant, ammunition is stored in a locked location separate from the firearm.
e) If the Host Family has firearms or controlled weapons, the Host Family must disclose the presence of any firearm or other potentially dangerous objects to the Local Manager.
- If the Host Family has a reason to believe the Guest requires emergency medical care, then the Host Family will promptly take the Guest to the nearest hospital or emergency center. If necessary, call 911 for urgent medical attention.
- If the Guest experiences a minor illness or requires non-emergency medical care, the Host Family will expediently assist the student to make an appointment with a medical or dental provider within the Student’s health insurance network. The host will assist with arranging transportation for the student for medical appointments.
- In the event of any emergency involving or impacting the Student, the Host Family will contact the Local Manager and the main office of AHN, as soon as is practicable. This includes serious illness, injury, or hospitalization; arrest or detention by authorities; a violation of AHN, rules regarding driving, hitchhiking; or any other display of potentially harmful behavior, including, but not limited to, under age alcohol consumption or the use of illegal substances.
- For Guests under age 18, the Host Parent will keep a copy of Student’s Medical Authorization and Limited Power of Attorney with them at all times.
- For Guests under age 18, the School may require that the Student undergo a physical examination by a doctor in the United States and receive updated immunizations. The Host Family will assist the Student in coordinating and attending appointments for such examinations and immunizations. Transportation for occasional medical and dental appointments should be arranged and provided by the host family.
Travel and Transportation Policy for Students in High School our Younger
The safety of our students is our top priority. All students in High School and Younger and their host families are required to comply with the AHN Travel Policy while participating in the Program. Please contact your Local Manager with any questions.
The Host Family will ensure adequate arrangements are in place for transportation of the Student to and from school and school related activities that contribute to the Student’s engagement with the Program. The Host Family understands and acknowledges that AHN does not authorize, approve or condone a Student under the age of 18 using third-party ride-sharing services, such as Uber or Lyft, without an adult member of the Host Family present. Unaccompanied students are able to use licensed taxi services provided the travel is otherwise in compliance with the AHN Travel Policy and in compliance with the policies of the taxi service provider. Depending on the nature of the travel and age of the student, documentation and approval requirements apply.
For students in high school or younger enrolled in a long term school program, The Host Family will be responsible for Student’s airport pick-up at the beginning of each Enrollment Period and airport drop-off at the end of each Enrollment Period, as well as up to one airport drop-off and pick-up in the event the Student travels to their home country during Winter break (only applies to the designated airports, and at pre-specified arrival and departure dates and times). The Host Family shall bear all the costs arising out of failure to fulfill this responsibility.
Date Reviewed: April 2020
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