Processing and Accepting Host Families

Homestay Family Interview Form

When interviewing a prospective host family, the host family interview form is used. This information is important and collecting as many details as possible will assist in matching students to the family.

Please note: The NSISP has a database that can be updated to include many of these details making student placement easier. For example, when a student’s profile indicates they have a pet dog and they will miss their dog while in Nova Scotia, it would be nice for the student to know their host family has a 3-year-old poodle named “Pickles.” This information could be included in the welcome letter and sometimes these small details can help a nervous student adjust to their homestay more easily.

Detailed forms eliminate the need to chase host families for small details about them asked by the student and their family before arrival. The form will also assist others while coordinators are on vacation, etc.

When completing a welcome letter, include a photo of the outside of the family home. While visiting the family remember to take this photo. Remember this is a student’s first impression. Please try and get the photo when the grass is green and the yard is well
kept. Spring/summer photos are more welcoming than winter. For internal use remember to take photos of inside the house.

RCMP Checks and Child Abuse Registry

All school board employees and volunteers must submit to a National Child Abuse Registry check and Police/RCMP check. Even though expenses are reimbursed, host families are volunteers of the school system and therefore must have these checks completed before a student can live in their home. Volunteer letters from the school board can be downloaded from the HSC section of the website to give to host families.

Homestay Coordinators vary in the way they prefer to have these forms filled out. Some Homestay Coordinators leave them with families to complete and then add additional information themselves. Other Coordinators prefer to complete the forms while conducting a mini-interview in the home. Either method is fine.

The dates of the CRC/CAR must be entered into the NSISP database. This is mandatory and a directive of the Department of Education.

Please note: These checks are to be completed by all adults living in the home and all adults regularly visiting the home. For example, a single mom with a regular boyfriend must have the boyfriend listed in her family profile and he must complete the same paperwork as the host mother as he is in regular contact with the student(s). The same applies to adult children away at university and visiting home regularly, grandparents living in a basement apartment, etc.

Help assure families these checks are for their protection as well as for the protection of the school board and the Nova Scotia International Student Program. Photocopies of previously completed checks are not acceptable.

These checks should be updated every five years (or as per your school board policy) It is important to renew contact with host families regularly as a student who was 17 when her family started hosting and is now an adult must submit to these checks and her family’s profile needs to be updated.

In some cases, the police department or RCMP will ask families to pay for their police checks but volunteers may not have to pay. If a person does pay for the check the school board should reimburse the fee.


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