ASC International Homestay Placement Policy

This Policy and Procedure is in compliance with National Code Standard 5

This document outlines the policy and procedures for placing students in any ASC International Homestay. This policy covers students in both a standard and Parent Nominated (PN) Homestay. PN Homestays are nominated by the student’s Parents or legal Guardians and therefore bypass the procedure for selection and matching of student to the host family.

However, certain processes are required to ensure the PN Host family is suitable for the student. Irrelevant of the type of homestay, all processes and procedures for accreditation and monitoring of homestay placements, where ASC International has issued a Confirmation of Appropriate Accommodation and Welfare (CAAW) letter, are the same.

PROCEDURES

Homestay Host Recruitment and Screening

All homestays, including Parent Nominated Homestays (PN) must undertake the following process prior to being fully accredited to receive an ASC International student:

  1. Potential host must complete the Host application form or PN Homestay Application Form.
  2. Potential Host must read and sign the ASC International Host Agreement.
  3. Potential host must send through all appropriate clearances (inspections must not be booked until they are received)
  4. Once all documentation is received, an interview and inspection are arranged with the Homestay Coordinator.
  5. At interview / inspection:
    1. the interview checklist is completed on the host and the home.
    2. the host is provided with appropriate training.
    3. the host is provided with the ASC International Homestay Handbook.
    4. Any outstanding clearances or documentation must be collected.

 

Note: PN inspections are only to be carried out on upon receipt of a signed Letter of Offer from the student and their acceptance payment.

Host Application

An application must be completed by the Homestay Hosts and evaluated as per the below before a placement can be confirmed and a Confirmation of Appropriate Accommodation and Welfare (CAAW) letter can be issued for visa application purposes.

All hosts accepting under 18 students must have a valid Working with Children Check (WWC) and a National Police Check (NPC). It is not sufficient for this to be in the application stage. All members of the host’s household who are 18 years and over must provide a valid copy of these checks.

Evaluating an Application

When evaluating the Homestay Application, the following should be considered for U18 Students:

  • Where possible, students must not be placed in a homestay with the opposite sex, especially when there is a large age gap.
  • Female students must not be placed in a home where there is no female host.
  • Students should be placed as close to the education provider as possible, but within

60 minutes by public transport at a maximum.

  • Unless ASC International has provided written approval for travel with parents, students are not permitted to travel to and from the airport unless their mode of transport is approved by ASC International.
  • The number of students placed with one homestay host should be limited. If there are multiple students present in one household, they will not gain full exposure to Australian culture and language. There are also potential legal implications to having multiple students in a household. There is a limit of 3 students to one host, at a maximum.

Home Inspection

Accommodation must be inspected prior to a student being placed according to the appropriate check list below. A host should be advised if they have failed to supply any part of the requirements and re-checked when requirements are complete.

Hosts must offer:

  • Good quality accommodation in a stable environment
  • Clean and tidy home with fire alarms installed
  • Private bedroom with access internally and part of the family home
  • Access to the home if security system installed
  • Lockable doors to bedroom, bathroom and toilet
  • A good quality bed and bedding
  • Study desk with comfortable chair and lighting
  • Wardrobe free of family belongings
  • Drawer space (can be incorporated within the wardrobe)
  • Heater or fan (depending on climate/season)
  • Bathroom and toilet facilities close to the bedroom
  • Laundry facilities
  • Access to telephone
  • Access to internet
  • No intimidating pets

Hosts must display:

  • Positive, honest, flexible, open-minded attitude towards the homestay situation
  • Willingness to communicate with the student
  • Positive, tolerant attitude towards other cultures
  • Interest and good motivational skills (e.g. do they sound excited at the prospect of Hosting?)
  • Knowledge of specific needs of international students (e.g. prior experience and/or a willingness to train)
  • Ability to facilitate students’ needs (e.g. emotional, behavioural, cultural)
  • Ability to manage conflict
  • Ability to introduce appropriate boundaries depending on students’ age and maturity
  • Stability and strength (e.g. financial, social, emotional etc.)
  • Willingness of other members residing in the home to accept the student
  • Ability to speak English in a clear and concise manner

Warning Signs:

  • excessive focus on financial gain as motivation for hosting
  • mannerisms which may be interpreted by staff as threatening or have potential to make students feel uncomfortable
  • houses designed to be boarding houses
  • the presence of many other homestay students
  • apparent lack of cultural sensitivity or flexibility (e.g. unwillingness to

provide Asian students with rice meals or permit students to practice religious rituals at home etc.)

  • household arrangements not conducive to according adequate privacy for student (e.g. shared sleeping arrangements)
  • Unstable environment that differs from the host profile or information provided by the host

Whilst ASC International must avoid discrimination, if a potential host, regardless of race, does not meet the selection criteria set by ASC International then they must refuse them. For example: homestay students expect to stay with an English-speaking family to improve their English language capabilities. If a high level of English is an established criterion for placing students and a household does not meet the criterion, the household can be refused as a host. If the supervisor chooses to reject potential hosts based on this criterion (or any other), the code of conduct and program policies should clearly reflect this position to protect the supervisor and the ASC International community legally.

It is at ASC International’s discretion whether or not the host should be informed of the reasons they are being rejected. For example, if requirements are currently lacking that may be met in the future, ASC International may wish to alert the host of what is needed; however, if a host is completely unsuitable (e.g. hosting as primary income, prior exclusion from network) the supervisor may choose to simply inform the prospective host of their unsuitability without elaboration. If the host chooses to challenge this they may lodge a written request to appeal the decision. Please note that as part of the grievance proceedings applicants do have a legal right to view information collected regarding them: as such host files should be objective and not overly explicit in listing reasons for host unsuitability.

Host Agreement

If approved as a homestay host, a Host Agreement is to be signed.

Student Application

The following policy should be followed when placing Students with homestay Hosts. All students complete a homestay application form, which becomes their ‘Homestay Profile’. The Student’s profile should be checked against potential Hosts for suitability before confirming a placement. Students must not be placed with a Host simply because it is convenient, The Student’s profile should be checked against available Hosts for issues including the following:

  • gender, age and personal preferences
  • size of the family, how many children and their ages
  • pets, dogs or cats, or both
  • smoking or non-smoking
  • transport time to institution
  • length of stay
  • hobbies
  • special needs

If ‘special needs’ has been highlighted every care and precaution should be taken and confirmation sought from the Host that they can meet the Student’s requirements. Students will have preferences, which may or may not be accommodated at the time of matching. Students may be counselled to change their preferences if a suitable host cannot be found.

Placement Report

Once a placement has been confirmed a detailed placement report will be sent to the Student and the Host.

Under 18 Students

Pre-arrival Information:

Education providers must first sign a CAAW before a Student can be issued with a study Visa. A Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) is issued at the same time. The Student must be issued with the address of their Host prior to the issue of these documents. Where a Student has applied for homestay and been informed of their Host’s address then ASC International takes responsibility for the Student when signing the CAAW letter required prior to Visa issue. 

The CAAW must start from the date of commencement of the Student’s COE and end seven days after the end of the Student’s course. As Students may not be permitted to travel to Australia before their welfare arrangements are in place, the CAAW should provide appropriate time (usually seven days) prior to the commencement of the Student’s course to allow them to come to Australia and settle into their accommodation. The Student must abide by these dates and negotiate with their education provider for an extension of the CAAW if they plan to arrive more than one week prior to the start date.

Homestay Hosts are not legal guardians for their Student and do not have any parental responsibilities towards a Student. Hosts have no right to sign any legal documents, such as a Visa application, on the Student’s behalf. If the Student remains in Australia and does not make an application for a further visa, the visa will cease and they may be located and removed from Australia by Immigration.

Placement information:

In addition to the ASC International Student Homestay Agreement, students are to abide by the curfew set by ASC International. These are:

Sunday to Thursday*

  • Students under 16 years of age - no later than 6pm
  • Students 16-18+ years of age - no later than 9pm

Friday/Saturday and School Holidays*

  • Students under 16 years of age - no later than 9pm
  • Students 16 - 18+ years of age - no later than 11pm

* unless for a school-approved extracurricular activity.

  • Any breach of curfew is to be reported by the Hosts to ASC International.
  • Students must receive written approval by submitting a “Request to Vary Welfare” form to ASC International if they intend on spending any time away from their homestay including overnights stays, travel overseas or within Australia. They must provide the completed forms with a least 2 weeks’ notice.

Regular meetings will occur with each student via ASC International’s Student Welfare team. These will occur both at school and at the homestay.

The Student must have emergency access twenty-four hours/seven days a week or contact with the ASC International Welfare Team. 

24/7 Emergency Support Centre Phone Number: 1300 697 829

Over 18 Students

Once a student has turned 18 they are only allowed to move into accommodation that is on our below list of approved accommodation providers. Students may also choose to remain living in their current Parent Nominated or Standard homestay. Students must continue to abide by all ASCI rules and regulations as although they are over 18 years they still remain a high school student.

ASCI Approved Accommodation Providers for students 18 years and over:

Study Tour Students

Study tour Students arrive in groups, are enrolled in groups and generally stay together with the group for all activities. Some study tour Students attend English language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS) and some have holiday activities combined with their English course. Each education provider will be different.

The quotation agreed with each individual partner will dictate the method used for placing study tour Students i.e. Host family/travel requirements, and the financial arrangement about the homestay fee. The group representative will provide ASCI with manual application forms and profiles for each Student and ASCI takes responsibility for managing these placements.

Study Tour students can often have a lower level of English, depending where they are from and will generally be placed with Hosts who have been proven to have a high duty of care and the attitude and ability to communicate easily with Students with a low level of English. 

Students will be placed no more than 60 minutes by public transport travel to their campus.

Post-Arrival

Regular counselling is to be offered to the student whilst in homestay in conjunction with ASC International’s welfare policies.

Students under 18 must seek assistance from ASC international if they are concerned about their homestay arrangement in any way or if they would like to request to change homestay hosts. ASC International will assess the request, and if a transfer is approved by ASC International for the new Host, transportation will be arranged.

The student may be required to pay for a professional pick up service. In the case of a student changing homestays, additional fees may be charged, and the applicable policies and procedures must be followed. The education provider and Immigration must be informed of the new address.

Please refer to ASC International’s policies on their website and for further information on requesting any changes to welfare and accommodation arrangements. The student will have emergency access for twenty-four hours/seven days a week for contact with ASC International.

All applicable state and federal laws must be obeyed regarding travel – such as wanting to drive a car, motorbike or bicycle (licensed appropriately, seatbelts, helmets etc.)

Monitoring Placements

The objective of monitoring placements ensures that continued performance is identified and measured against the criterion in place. Support can be offered where the need is identified to better protect both the host and the student. Monitoring should take place once in each six-month period via face to face inspections and meetings or via telephone follow-up to ensure the placement is progressing as per expectations.

CONTACT DETAILS

ASCI Homestay Coordinator

Mobile: 0488 111 090

homestay@asci.edu.au

24/7 Emergency Support Centre: 1300 697 829

www.asci.edu.au