Exchanges and homestays part 2 – hosting a homestay
There are a variety of ways in which homestays are arranged…
Homestays can provide rich learning and development opportunities for young people. They can help them develop self-esteem, self-confidence and independence, learn about other people and places, gain an insight into different cultures, or practise a foreign language, according to recently updated OEAP National Guidance.
The Outdoor Education Advisers’ Panel (OEAP) produces National Guidance, which provides comprehensive support for the management of high-quality outdoor learning, educational visits and adventurous activities.
National Guidance provides three particularly useful documents with regard to exchange visits and homestays – both in the UK and overseas.
This article will deal with information regarding documents 2 and 3, with document 1 having been covered in a previous post.
Hosting a Homestay
A homestay is when you provide accommodation for a young person in your home, while they are visiting your area. Such visits can take place for a variety of reasons. For example:
- an educational visit by a school group from a different part of the UK or a foreign country;
- a youth orchestra or sports team touring or taking part in an event. Sometimes homestays are part of an exchange, where the visitors act as hosts back at their homes at another time.
Sometimes homestays are part of an exchange, where the visitors act as hosts back at their homes at another time.
If you are approached by a school, other establishment, or agency to act as a homestay host, then that organisation has a responsibility to ensure that any young person who stays with you will be safe in your care. You may therefore be asked to provide information about yourself and any other adults in your home, and about the facilities and support you can provide. Sometimes this will involve a criminal-records check through the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).
“During the homestay, you should adhere to any agreements that you have made with the organisation that arranged the homestay, or the parents of your guest(s). If there is an unexpected change (for example, in the facilities you can provide, or the adults staying in your home), you should discuss this with the homestay organiser as soon as possible.”
Homestay Information Form
The OEAP has produced an English language template form, with all the information you will need to capture for home stay information. It has been designed to help homestay organisers to make decisions about who needs to undergo DBS checks as part of the vetting of the suitability of hosts.
“We advise you to explain to hosts why you are asking for this information.”
The downloads referred to in this article also contains direct links a variety of other supporting OEAP National Guidance documents.