New AFS-USA Host Family Application

New AFS-USA Host Family Application

After a holistic design and development process, including consultation with stakeholders from across the organization (including field staff, host families, Hosting Advisory Group members (volunteers and staff), hosting staff, compliance staff, and more), AFS-USA is launching a new Host Family Application on May 12.

Host families who have already begun work on their applications for the 2020-2021 school year (Preparing stage) will continue with the current application version to avoid confusion. However, all new applicants (and those rolling over from previous applications who have yet to begin their application for this school year) will experience the new and improved application portal.

Improvements to Host Family Application

  • Host Families Can Self-Start on our Website
  • Host Families Can Access Background Check Links From the Portal Directly
  • Host Families Can Access Host Family Orientation Link From the Portal Directly
  • More User-Friendly Interface
  • Mobile Phone Compatible
  • Intuitive and Manageable Application Sections
  • Easy-to-understand toolbar, including path to completion
  • Updated, Modern Look and Feel
  • Seamlessly copies over information from previous years’ applications
  • Answers Auto Save as Applicants work on them
  • Once screened, families will access contact information for their student and other resources for host families in the same location with no need to remember other links.

Where to Direct Interested Host Families

Once the new application is launched on May 12th, interested host families can be directed to this website to begin (or to reapply if they have previously created an account with us):

Even host families who are applying to be an Event Family can apply through this portal, though volunteers/staff should indicate to Event Family applicants that there is a question within the application where they should indicate that “AFS Staff/Volunteers have spoken to me about being an event family.”

Uploading Formto the Host Family Application

The process for uploading forms such as the Host Family Interview (Form D) and the school Placement Acceptance Form (PAF) to the application will remain the same.

Specific Changes to Host Family Application Questions

As is the case every year, there have been some relatively minor changes/additions to the application related to compliance needs. These changes are listed here.

New Alerts for Hosting Volunteers

Volunteers who already receive an email alert when a new hosting lead is submitted, will start to receive email alerts when new families begin the application process.  Of special note, at the begnning of this new application, first-time host families will be asked a series of questions to help them understand what hosting with AFS is all about.  In this section of the application, interested families can request to speak to someone before continuing with the application.  We ask that volunteers respond to these requests as quickly as possible to ensure quality customer service to interested host families.

These families can also be identified in Hosting Lead Management with the tag “Review Needed.”

Feedback Channel

Additional info will be found on MyAFS Help & Learning when the new hosting portal goes live on May 12th.

We encourage all volunteers who are interested in becoming host families this year to begin their 2020-2021 school year applications to familiarize themselves with the new user experience!

IT, Hosting Operations, RMCQA, Field Staff, and all those who have worked on the development of this new application have worked tirelessly to ensure that the experience for host families is improved – and that data from previous applications is copied over seamlessly.

If you have an experience that could be improved or bug that you believe should be fixed, please share it with so that the suggestion/fix can be considered.

Any other questions about this new application or what it means for volunteers can be sent to your Hosting Programs Specialist.

Thank you for helping us make this new host family application a great improvement in customer service for our host families!