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DEi recruit and on-board homestay providers procedure

Version number 3.5 | Version effective 30 June 2022
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DEi recruit and on-board homestay providers procedure

Audience

Department of Education International (DEi) staff, school staff, students, homestay providers, international partners, parents/legal custodians of students and their agents.

Purpose

To ensure DEi and schools engage suitable homestay providers for their students where homestay accommodation is of high quality and provides a safe, caring and supportive environment.

Overview

This procedure outlines the roles and responsibilities of DEi, schools and homestay provider applicants, and the steps they follow in relation to recruitment, assessment, approval and engagement of homestay providers. This procedure applies to homestay provider applicants recruited by DEi, a school and referred by students.

DEi engages homestay providers for the International Student Programs (ISP), Study Tours and Global Programs. For ISP, students may nominate DEi to provide accommodation and welfare for the duration of their program. The Department of Home Affairs is notified of this arrangement as part of the student’s visa application process.

DEi and schools are required to recruit homestay families from their local area/community to meet the homestay requirements of various DEi programs.

DEi and schools ensure:

  • all adults involved in providing accommodation and welfare to students have working with children authority (blue card)
  • the accommodation provided is appropriate to the students’ age and needs.

New homestay providers can be recruited by a school from within the school/locFal community. Families may approach the school to become a homestay provider. For some Global Programs, the participating Queensland student’s family becomes the homestay provider under a reciprocal arrangement.

Generally, homestay providers for Queensland state schools will be volunteers for the purposes of the Working with Children (Risk Management and Screening) Act 2000 (Qld).

This procedure should be read in conjunction with the Working with children authority procedure, Conducting home visits procedure, DEi student homestay placement procedure and the DEi homestay provider management procedure.

Responsibilities

DEi staff

  • refer potential homestay providers to their nearest Education Queensland International school/s
  • provide advice and support to school principals and school staff to implement this procedure
  • Global Programs:
    • for one-way inbound programs:
      • delegate management of the recruiting and on-boarding (orientation and training) of suitable homestay providers
      • manage risks with home visits
      • approve homestay providers
      • maintain accurate and up-to-date blue card, student and homestay records, for example, homestay database.
    • for reciprocal programs:
      • manage the approval and selection of homestay providers as part of a student application and matching process
      • manage risks in consultation with schools and international partners
      • maintain accurate and up-to-date records, for example, master planner database which includes host family records.

School staff

  • manage the recruiting and on-boarding of suitable homestay providers
  • identify and evaluate risks associated with home visits and do not conduct, or cease a home visit at any time, if there are concerns for personal health and safety
  • maintain accurate and up-to-date blue card, student and homestay records, for example, homestay database and OneSchool.

Homestay provider

School principal (or delegate)

Process

Process image from left to right: 1. Recruit  2. Assess 3. Approve 4. On-board

Image 1 Recruit and on-board homestay providers process

1. Recruit

School staff

DEi staff

  • for some Global Programs, including one-way inbound programs, recruitment is delegated to school staff
  • for other Global Programs, including reciprocal programs, request homestay provider information during the student application process, for example, the Switzerland-Germany Global Student Program application form.

Homestay provider

  • for ISP and Study Tours, complete and submit application as per the instructions on the application form.

2. Assess

DEi staff and School staff

  • receive and assess completed application forms, ensuring all sections have been completed, including signed and dated by applicants
  • ensure blue card/exemption card requirements will be met:
    • if a homestay provider applicant or adult resident of their home already has a blue card or exemption card, follow the Working with children authority procedure to verify, validate and link the card
    • if a homestay provider applicant or adult resident of the home (including 17-year-olds who will turn 18 in the next two months) does not already hold a current blue card or exemption card direct them to apply for and obtain a blue card (or exemption card) through Blue Card Services online, prior to engaging in work with the department
  • assess the information provided against the criteria on the application form to confirm applicant meets all requirements to be a suitable candidate to provide homestay services
    • if assessed as unsuitable, advise the applicant that the assessment process will not continue and provide reasons, if required
  • schedule initial meeting at the prospective homestay provider’s residence (excludes Global Programs as an information session is held for participants) with the prospective homestay provider:
    • invite all adult residents
    • confirm meeting details and advise the documentation required for the meeting, if required
  • evaluate risks associated with conducting a home visit as identified in the homestay application; noting the nature and purpose of homestay home visits is non-threatening and generally considered low risk for school staff and DEi staff
  • seek endorsement from your line manager to conduct the home visit
  • ensure that another staff member is aware of the time and location of your visit and your contact details
  • conduct initial meeting with homestay provider to contribute to the assessment and determination as to the suitability of the applicant and the residence (for Global Programs, this may involve a phone call, face-to-face information session or webinar)
  • inspect premises, that is, their place of residence (for Global Programs, DEi staff request photographs of premises)
  • for ISP, complete the ISP initial homestay approval checklist (DoE employees only)
  • for Study Tours, complete the checklist on the Study Tours homestay provider profile (document A) (DoE employees only)
  • for Global Programs, undertake matching process in collaboration with international partners
  • request further information/follow-up on items not completed in the relevant homestay approval checklist
  • update the Homestay database, for example the homestay register, during the assess step (master planner for Global Programs during the matching step) or wait until the homestay provider is approved.

Homestay provider

  • participate in activities as part of the assessment process, including home visits and obtaining a blue card/exemption card.

3. Approve

DEi staff and School staff

  • await notification from the applicant regarding the outcome of their blue card/exemption card application, where the applicant doesn’t already have a valid blue card/exemption card; once blue card/exemption card is issued to the homestay provider, follow the Working with children authority procedure to verify, validate and link the card, prior to them engaging in work with the department
  • consider all relevant information, including the assessment against the criteria on the application form, and make a recommendation to the school principal or delegate to approve or not approve the homestay provider application
  • for reciprocal Global Programs, consider all relevant information in the matching process and make a recommendation to DEi staff and the international partner to formalise the matching homestay arrangement.

School principal (or delegate)

  • request further information from the homestay provider applicant, if required
  • approve application, on behalf of DEi, if satisfied that all adults who reside in the home have current blue cards/exemption cards and the applicant has demonstrated that they:
  • have knowledge of and willingness to comply with relevant DEi procedures and the Department of Education’s (DoE) Student protection procedure
  • decide not to approve an application if not satisfied that the applicant has met the criteria 
  • advise staff of decision.

DEi staff

  • for reciprocal Global Programs, receive acceptance of confirmed homestay arrangement from international partner and notify school staff of the confirmed arrangement.

DEi staff and School staff

4. On-board

Staff

  • deliver orientation and training to approved homestay providers prior to the student placement including:
  • assist homestay providers to understand their role and responsibilities and answer any queries
  • for some Global Programs, DEi staff deliver an information session for participants and hosting families prior to the student placement.

Homestay provider

  • participate in orientation and training activities as part of the on-boarding process
  • seek clarity regarding the homestay provider role and responsibilities to ensure adherence to the terms and conditions of the homestay arrangement, for example, for ISP the ISP terms and conditions for homestay providers.

Definitions

Term

Definition

Agent

Education agent registered with EQI to recruit students for EQI programs.

Department of Education International (DEi)

The international branch of the Department of Education and employees of DEi.

The Department of Education’s trading name is Education Queensland International (EQI).

DEi Program

A program offered by a DEi business unit including: International Student Programs, Study Tours and Professional Visits, and Global Programs, including but not limited to: Primary School program; High School program; International Baccalaureate; High School. Preparation; Study tours; Short term immersion programs and exchanges; and reciprocal exchanges.

Delegate

Is a classified officer (Heads of Department, Deputy Principals and Principals) nominated by the principal who is authorised to make some International Student Program decisions on behalf of the school principal.

Global Programs

Inbound and outbound programs delivered by Global Engagement Unit, DEi, which offer participants the opportunity to develop their global competence by exploring new cultures and experience new learnings. Students participating in Global Programs are in Australia on visa subclass 600 (visitor).

Home visit

When employees visit the home of a member of the school/local community, to assess the home and applicants (and other household members) as appropriate candidates as a Homestay Provider.

Homestay

Homestay is accommodation services offered by a family, a couple or a single person where food and shelter and a safe, caring and supportive home environment is provided to a Student. Homestay is arranged by schools and/or DEi staff.

For International Student Programs: Overseas student accommodation arranged by schools for Student Visa 500 holders; where DEi is responsible for the welfare of the student at all times, including outside school hours.

Homestay database

A database used by schools to record all information regarding the homestay arrangement.

Homestay provider

Homestay provider is a family, a couple or a single person who is approved by DEi or schools to host students in their home.

For Study Tours a homestay provider is also known as a Host Family.

For Global Programs this includes families involved in reciprocal exchanges.

International Partners

Education department of organisation through which short-term immersion programs and exchanges are delivered, under international Memorandums of Understanding with DEi.

International Student Programs (ISP)

A study pathway offered to Overseas Students to fulfil their academic potential, develop new skills and achieve personal goals in a way that suits their individual needs. International Student Programs includes: Primary School, High School, International Baccalaureate, and High School Preparation.

Master planner

The database used by DEi staff to manage Global Programs including inbound and reciprocal programs, and to capture homestay arrangements.

OneSchool

A comprehensive program to help Queensland State Schools manage key teaching and school administrative activities. Its features cover a wide range of school operations (DoE employees only).

Overseas student

Student in Australia on visa subclass 500 (schools sector) enrolled in an EQI course.

Parent

Natural parent or legal custodian.

School

For International Student Programs: Queensland state schools accredited by DEi to deliver international student programs.

For Study Tours: Queensland state schools accredited to deliver study tours.

For Global Programs: Queensland state schools and non-state schools.

School staff

Employees of schools, for example – international student coordinator, homestay coordinator, head of department, deputy principal, accredited officer (Study Tours).

Staff

Employees of the Department of Education and includes: School staff and DEi staff (for example, Project Officer, Global Engagement Unit).

Employees of non-state schools partnered with DEi to deliver Global Programs.

Student

For International Student Programs: Overseas student enrolled in an EQI course.

For Study Tours: Student in Australia on a visa subclass 600 (visitor) participating in a group Study Tour program.

For Global Programs: Student in Australia on a visa subclass 600 (visitor) participating in Global Programs.

Study Tours

Short term commercial programs for groups of students to visit Queensland state primary and secondary schools, to enrich their learning and cultural experiences. Student groups are accompanied by adult tour chaperones.  Students participating in Study Tours are in Australia on visa subclass 600 (visitor).

Legislation

Delegations/Authorisations

  • Nil

Other resources

Superseded versions

Previous seven years shown. Minor version updates not included.

2.1 Recruit, assess, approve and on-board homestay providers

3.0 DEi recruit and on-board homestay providers procedure

Review date

24 January 2023
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs CC BY-NC-ND
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