AHN Critical Incident Response Policy

AHN CRITICAL INCIDENT RESPONSE POLICY - USA

Specific responses to any of the incidents below should be documented on the critical incident report form. Review the specific response required for each category. Responses assume notification of incident by 24/7 hotline, student, host or other associated party.

The AHN hotline (866.999.9076) should be contacted when AHN homestay managers determine that a critical incident has occurred. This will allow AHN executive management to be paged appropriately.

Unless they have been assigned as a Designated Guardian (e.g. as part of the AHN High School Program or Parent Nominated Homestay), host families are not the legal guardians for participants nor are they legally responsible for the participant they host. The host family-participant relationship is legally termed a “host-guest” relationship. This means that host families are expected to give due care to participants but are not legally responsible for them. Natural families always have the final say on matters that affect their children.

1. Death of a Guest

Collect all necessary data from reporting person on death of student form

Contact AHN CEO or senior VP or duty officer if after hours

Senior executives should contact family, educational institution and agent personally

Continue follow-up and record all conversations

Inventory personal effects, send to natural parents, copy to office\ host family

2. Death of a close family member

Collect all information and report all details to AHN office or duty officer if after hours

AHN corporate office should verify details

If natural family did not inform AHN of the death, corporate executives should contact the family for input as to how student should be informed

If the student’s natural family requests AHN to do so, contact host family (or agent) and ask them to inform student of the death

One way or round-trip transportation for the student is to be arranged by agent or parent if necessary

3. Attempted suicide

Confirm that medical attention has been received for student

Collect all information and report all details to AHN office or duty officer if after hours

Any direct or indirect statements from the participant should be taken at full value.

Obtain emergency medical services in consultation with AHN office or duty officer if after hours

Monitor the need for counseling and maintain contact with those who may need ongoing support

4. Life threatening illness or accident

Confirm that host or other person has arranged for emergency care e.g. ambulance or travel to emergency room

Contact AHN management through hotline support

AHN management to contact natural parents immediately with information with contact information on hospital, attending physician, diagnosis, prognosis and treatment

5. Rape or physical assault

Determine if medical care is required or if student is in a safe place

Report cases of assault immediately to AHN corporate or duty officer

Arrange medical attention

Arrange rape counseling services

Inform police if student is a minor; or assist student with police contact

Assist with informing police if student requests

Monitor the need for counseling and maintain contact with those who may need ongoing support

6. Sexual molestation\harassment in home

These incidents are often more ambiguous than sexual assault and require investigation by AHN staff. When reported, the staff member to whom it is reported should in turn report it to AHN management. It is important to remain calm and non-judgmental, but to acknowledge and accept that the participant’s emotional reaction to the situation is valid and requires investigation.

Take information from student and ask for them to wait for a call from AHN

Remove the student from the situation immediately

Have the student interviewed (preferably by a person of the same gender) to assess whether there was a misinterpretation of events or whether there was an actual and intended impropriety

Consult with AHN management on appropriate actions pending the outcome of the participant’s interview

Ensure confidentiality of all information regarding the incident for the protection of the AHN participant and host family member

NOTE: AFS may need to report suspected cases of abuse to local authorities depending on state law

Monitor the need for counseling and maintain contact with those who may need ongoing support

7. Student in legal trouble

If a student is arrested or gets into legal trouble, contact AHN corporate staff or duty officer immediately so they can contact the natural family or agent. It is the natural family’s decision if AHN should assist in procuring legal counsel. AHN will not directly hire or pay for this legal counsel – this is the sole responsibility of the natural family.

It should be kept in mind that an individual whom the police seek to interrogate has the right to have legal counsel present during the interrogation and also has the right to remain silent during such interrogation.

8. Mental health crisis

Talk to student regarding their state of mind

Any direct or indirect statements from the participant should be taken at full value

Determine if medical services or counselling is required in consultation with AHN office or duty officer if after hours

Monitor the need for counseling and ask hosts to pay attention to student’s behavior

9. Drug or alcohol overdose

Confirm that host or other person has arranged for emergency care e.g. ambulance or travel to emergency room

Contact AHN management through hotline support

AHN management to contact natural parents immediately with contact information for the hospital, attending physician, diagnosis, prognosis and treatment

 10. Fire/explosion with injuries or significant damage

Confirm that host or other person has arranged for emergency care e.g. ambulance or travel to emergency room

Contact AHN management through hotline support

AHN management to contact natural parents immediately with contact information for the hospital, attending physician, diagnosis, prognosis and treatment

11. Natural disasters (local and international), international hostage situation, chemical/radiation, biohazard spillage, infectious disease

Respond to natural parents as soon as possible with factual information

Students should remain with host families and not leave home

Regional offices should contact hosts and students for status update

Identify and report any student or family about whom you do not have information and actions you are taking to secure this information

12. Student was not picked up from the airport on arrival.

Contact AHN limo partner for immediate dispatch or homestay manager should pick up the student if the situation demands.

Confirm arrival at host home

Date Reviewed: April 2020