The importance of a good host family One of the most important jobs that Bright World undertakes as guardians is to find a suitable host family for their students. Due to the fact that schools close during some weekends and half terms many guardianship students
who are far from home simply cannot justify the trip home. The most popular solution to this is to stay with a host family chosen by their guardian. Our aim at Bright World is to make this experience better for all parties; both host family and student. Our job begins when we are sourcing for our host families.
- Firstly - we do not advertise in newspapers. Most of our host families are recommended via schools and friends of friends. This is very important to us.
- Secondly - we must undertake a CRB (Criminal Records Bureau)
This is a check on every member of the host family over the age of 18.
In addition to the above two points we make sure that the house is comfortable and the guardianship student can have an area of space to have time on their own to relax, listen to music and study. The host family should be genuinely interested in hosting students and be prepared to welcome them as part of their family unit. They should also be realistic and understand that teenagers across the world can be difficult and often just want to be left alone.
One of the most difficult parts of the experience is the very first meeting. We try to prepare our students and families as best we can. We send the host family a profile on their student and we send the student a profile of their host family. These profiles include photographs of the people concerned and the house and rooms etc. This is aimed to really prepare students and host families for what lies ahead.
Each host family will collect students from school because we find taxis too impersonal. A Bright World member of staff will then visit the student at the host family during the first half term to make sure they are happy and complete a questionnaire with both the host family and the guardianship student. Any minor problems can be sorted out at this point and of course if either party really do not think the relationship is working we will work towards another solution.
Year on year as the number of host families that we have grow and as they get more experienced, we find that our success rate improves. This latest year, 2006/7 has been our best year yet. We have more than 60 pupils staying with host families and we have had no problems at all. This means a 100% success rate all round
We have had very positive comments from host families, students and parents alike and would like to thank all our host families for the support they show us and we hope they realise how important they are to us. If you would like more information about our Host Family services please don’t hesitate to call us on +44(0) 1273 835745 or email Bright World directly.
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