Code of Conduct for International Students under the age of 18 in AHN Placements

Document Name: Code of Conduct for International Students under the age of 18 in Australian Homestay Network Placements

Version: 2

Effective: April 2014 (revised January 2017)

IMPORTANT: Australian Homestay Network will always defer to the required policies and procedures of the governing education provider in any matters where the governing education provider policy conflicts with any AHN policy or the AHN policy fails to mention the requirement.

Document Overview

This document outlines AHN’s official code of conduct for Under 18 students in AHN Placements. All stakeholders have, in some way, power and influence in the homestay process and therefore each stakeholder has a responsibility to be aware and to meet some standard of ethical conduct.

This document on the ‘Code of Conduct for International Students in AHN placement’ is used as a guideline to meet standard requirements for providing pastoral care to international students under 18 years of age. It promotes and enhances the conduct of the Education Provider and Australian Homestay Network (AHN) staff in performing their duties in a collegial environment.

Accommodation for International students is managed by AHN. The Education Provider and AHN work together to provide supportive homestay experiences for students.

This document contains a checklist for each key stakeholder to follow to ensure that they comply with the Homestay Programme Guidelines. Because of the diversity of stakeholders involved in homestay study programmes at The Education Provider, the code is presented across four general stakeholder areas:

  1. Education Provider staff
  2. AHN
  3. International students in homestay
  4. Homestay providers/host families

 

1) Education Provider staff

Homestay providers may come from a variety of family compositions, cultural backgrounds and that these will not be the basis for acceptance or rejection in the homestay provider group.

A staff member at the Education Provider may be appointed to provide ongoing support to homestay providers and students as necessary and may:

  • Work with AHN to advise homestay providers and homestay students of the expectations of homestay by means of orientation, written documents and information, orientation sessions as well as email information.
  • Ensure all students are placed in appropriate families.
  • Encourage networking contacts to ensure the quality of all providers enlisted in the programme is maintained.
  • Maintain adequate payment records.
  • Follow up with AHN regarding any complaints made by homestay students.
  • Respect and be responsive to the beliefs and diversity of cultural requirements of homestay providers and homestay students by providing alternative accommodation immediately if it is believed that the welfare of the student, or host, may be at risk.
  • Provide on-going support for homestay providers and students as necessary and ensure that all parties are aware of the wide range of support services available within the Education Provider and provided through the International Centre, Health Services, Counselling Services, Sexual Harassment Contact Network and Grievance Resolution procedures.
  • Issues in relation to taxation, insurance and legislation including legislation changes must be advised to stakeholders.
  • Interact effectively and cooperatively with other departments within and outside the institution.
  • Act openly and professionally in all dealings with other homestay providers and institutions.
  • Ensure that the confidentiality of homestay providers and students is preserved under the terms of Privacy and Discrimination Acts.
  • Undertake process and impact evaluations, i.e. conduct surveys periodically with homestay providers and students to ensure that standards and requirements of student placement are met under the basic ethical guidelines.
  • Ensure that AHN provide homestay management services appropriate to the role and level of service they are providing (including demonstrable ability in meeting the specific needs of international students).

Under the ESOS Act 2000, the National Code of Ethics for Registration Authorities and Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students, must ensure that upon arrival, international students have access to information or counselling services in the following areas: orientation, academic progress, further study and accommodation and welfare arrangement for students.

General Welfare

  • The Education Provider should be aware of the international students’ needs and have processes in place to support and assist them.
  • The Education Provider must support the social and psychological needs of international students that include:
    1. Access to appropriate counselling services
    2. Training and support of homestay providers
    3. Sensitive management of internal and external grievance processes
  • The Education Provider is responsible for all aspects of pastoral care for their international students from the point of landing in Australia or the agreed date of transfer from another signatory, to the end of the contract for enrolment.
  • The Education Provider needs to be aware of cultural and religious differences of students group. For example, Muslim students will have practices relating to food, food preparation, and storage, drink, religious observance and dress that need to be respected and accommodated.
  • The Education Provider should ascertain if an international student has any health condition that may affect their study or require treatment. Homestay providers need to be advised of any relevant health problems of students in their care.

Privacy of International Student Information

  • Personal information of any student is subject to the Privacy Act, the provision of which prohibits the disclosure of any personal information or details. The Education Provider must ensure that all personal information, as defined in the Privacy Act, is obtained, stored and released in accordance with the Privacy Act

Communication Arrangements

  • The Education Provider is required to establish communication arrangements with the parents / guardian of International students. ‘Establishing communication arrangements’ means the Education Provider must arrange a way to contact parents / guardian in case of an emergency, and for ongoing liaison concerning the students’ welfare. If is vital that there is a way of contacting the parents / guardian at short notice.

Accommodation

  • The Education Provider is required to advise international students of the accommodation options available to them.
  • The Education Provider may document which category of accommodation each student is living in and ensure that the applicable monitoring and follows-up takes place.
  • The Education Provider must ensure that their homestay providers have a full understanding of their obligations to the signatory and any accommodation agent. This means the Education Provider must clearly set out the different responsibilities of providers and agents and advise each what their responsibilities are.
  • The Education Provider may have stringent processes (robust procedures) for all aspects / areas of the homestay programme such as a process for assessing, selecting and approving prospective homestay providers and processes for the on-going monitoring of the providers. These procedures may shape the placement guidelines agreed between the Education Provider and AHN.

 

2) Australian Homestay Network (AHN)

Code of Ethics

In arranging homestay accommodation for international students attending The Education Provider, AHN will:

  • Familiarise providers with the culture and education philosophy of the homestay programmes /students through in-service support and individual awareness.
  • Be aware of the needs of the international students and have processes in place to support and assist them.
  • Provide ongoing support to homestay providers and students as necessary.
  • Inspect all providers and homes registered and provide an orientation of the expectations / requirements of the programme.
  • Visit each homestay provider and place each student in a home, which is, to the best knowledge and belief, a safe and suitable home and “best match” for the students.
  • Identify any personal prejudices and biases and promote awareness and an adherence to ethical standards.
  • Accept flexibility of regulations and communication practices that may be necessary to meet the diverse and variable needs of international students.
  • Adhere to the Discrimination Act 1991 (ACT) as at http://www.legislation.act.gov.au/a/1991-81/default.asp and all discriminatory practices including but not limited to race, age, gender, ethnicity, disability, socio-economic and sexual preference or religion
  • Adhere to the Education and Training Reform Act 2006 (Ministerial Order No. 870 – Child Safe Standards – Managing the risk of child abuse in schools
  • Keep all possible communications open, honest and appropriate to the situation.
  • Maintain clear communication with the Education Provider on all homestay related matters.
  • Act with sensitivity and discretion and enact a process of crisis management, in time of grief and trauma.
  • Have access to opportunities for professional development with regard to the provision of homestay care and meeting the needs of international students.
  • Maintain the confidentiality of Homestay providers and international students’ right to privacy under the terms of Privacy and Discrimination Acts.
  • Encourage respect for the law and systems of Australia.
  • Arrange documentation for Suitability card to be issued by the respective state Government department in regards to under-age welfare and monitor the respective expiry dates.
  • Ensure each member of the host family over the age of 18 has a valid working with children check.
  • Ensure all students are placed in appropriate families with guardianship arrangements in place.
  • Monitor the number of household members, family members to guest ratio.
  • Maintain adequate payment records.
  • Follow up any complaint made by homestay students / providers as soon as possible.
  • Respect and be responsive to the beliefs and diversity of cultural requirements of homestay providers and homestay students by providing alternative accommodation immediately if it is believed that the welfare of the student, or host, may be at risk.
  • Provide on-going support for homestay providers and students as necessary and ensure that all parties are aware of the wide range of support services available within the education provider.

 

3) Homestay Students

Code of Ethics

  • Students need to be encouraged to communicate in an honest and respectful way thus developing positive relationships with providers which are based on mutual trust and communication. Disguising a problem to ‘save face’ may not, in fact, be the best way to deal with the problem.
  • Students should be advised on acceptable levels of hospitality and not take advantage of the generosity offered by families.
  • Students should be encouraged to develop positive relationships with families which are based on mutual trust and communication.
  • Students should be enabled to take responsibility for their own practices and needs.
  • Students under the age of 18 must be aware of their visa requirements as definitive rules and restrictions apply to their movements and lifestyle

Good Conduct Guidelines

The student will be expected to:

  • Be financially independent; pay the homestay fee as arranged with the Education Provider and any extra mid-year vacation homestay fees or holding fees. He / she must meet all personal expenses for travel, entertainment, telephone calls, medical expenses and other personal, incidental costs.
  • Respect and adhere to guidelines / rules for living in the household as given by the homestay family which include conditions such as no smoking, no alcohol, spend no longer than 10 minutes in the shower and leaving the bathroom tidy.
  • Smoking and consumption of alcohol are prohibited for all students under 18 years of age.
  • Consumption of illicit drugs are prohibited as per state laws
  • Offer to help with minor household chores such as occasional washing up and keeping their bedroom clean and tidy.
  • Be considerate and keep noise to a minimum after 8.30pm.
  • Follow the correct approval process as required by the Education Provider and notified to you by AHN for any overnight stays. Contact AHN if you are not sure of the process for your student. 
  • Ask their own parents or guardian to contact the homestay family and give permission for any late nights or overnight stays.
  • Advise the homestay family about social activities and if they will miss meals.
  • Any damage to family property (if the student is responsible for the damage) must be communicated and options of replacement to be explained.
  • Keep all valuables, money, passport and airline tickets in a safe place.
  • Maintain clear communication with the Education Provider on all homestay matters.
  • Behave appropriately and be prepared to participate in reasonable family activities.
  • Respect and be aware that cultural differences and beliefs of the homestay provider may differ from their own.
  • Communicate with the homestay provider on a regular basis. Students should be open about their needs / wants.
  • Advise the Education Provider immediately of any concerns of their health or welfare which may arise in the homestay environment.
  • Adhere to the guidelines set down by the Education Provider, for example, orientation for students and other advice given about the homestay programme.
  • Be aware and abide by the laws of Australia and the rules of your education provider.
  • Adhere to relevant AHN Policies including the Guest Agreement and Homestay Policy.

 

4) Homestay Providers/ Host Families

Code of Ethics

Homestay providers are expected to:

  • Develop positive relationships with students which are based on mutual trust and communication.
  • Make students aware of the “House Rules” displayed and explained within the homestay.
  • Acknowledge the uniqueness of each student and the levels of each student’s strength and weakness.
  • Support and assist students to live comfortably within a foreign environment.
  • Respect the students’ right to privacy whilst realising that privacy does not equate to isolation.
  • Acknowledge the significance of culture, customs, language and beliefs in the life of their student and accommodate appropriately for these within the family’s life.
  • Assist, support and nurture where needed or requested, but keeping in mind that a desire to please may be interpreted as interfering by the student.
  • Maintain current status of the Suitability Card issued by the relative State Government Department.

Good Conduct Guidelines

The homestay provider will be expected to:

  • Provide a safe environment that will offer the student a total experience of living as a member of an Australian family and which encourages positive study habits.
  • Provide the student with a private, clean and warm bedroom, good healthy food, laundry facilities and a supportive environment. Meals should be provided as per the AHN product selected and paid for by the student. At least one meal per day should consist of meat / protein, vegetables and rice / noodles.
  • Offer help, guidance, support and encouragement with language practice and adapting to living in Australia (this may require patience and empathy and a willingness to show the student more than once).
  • Provide an orientation within the family home and explanation of the “House Rules” e.g. use of pool area and house facilities and security. Applicable house rules should be explained i.e. what time dinner is, telephone/internet protocols, no smoking, no alcohol, guests visiting, curfews, household tasks and bathroom conduct.
  • Hosts of Under 18 year aged students are responsible for monitoring and controlling appropriate and reasonable internet usage in the home.
  • Offering interest in the cultural background of the student can assist in building a strong relationship between student and host.
  • Respect the students’ need for privacy and allow them space to be alone.
  • Adapt a “duty of care” approach towards their homestay student.
  • Only provide single room accommodation. A student is not to share a room with another student or with a member of the family, unless specifically requested through the AHN product offering or required by the Education Provider
  • Liaise with AHN regarding any concerns or difficulties.
  • Notify AHN of any change of circumstances in the household.
  • Be responsive to the cultural differences and beliefs of the homestay student by allowing the student to continue familiar cultural practices without criticism.
  • Adhere to guidelines set down by the Education Provider.
  • Adhere to relevant AHN Policies including the Host Agreement and Homestay Policy.

Jan 03, 2017 - Copyright © 2017 - Homestay Management System