The management of critical incidents affecting the health and wellbeing of international students in HomeStay is a part of the services provided by Homestay Australia.
The ESOS National Code 2007, Standard 6.4 specifies that there must be:
…a documented critical incident policy together with procedures that covers the action to be taken in the event of a critical incident, required follow-up to the incident, and records of the incident and action taken.
1. Critical incidents are to be reported and managed in accordance with the guidelines for local students, with additional overlaying responsibilities where appropriate for International students.
2. A critical incident is an occurrence where an international student’s health or wellbeing is, or has been, placed at risk. Some examples of critical incidents include: missing students, abuse, neglect, serious injury, self harm, fatalities and crime. Homestay Australia has a Duty of Care in prevention, intervention and reporting of such incidents to the school the student attends.
3. Homestay Australia is required to notify the school immediately that the student attends about any incident, emergency or criminal activity, in which the safety or wellbeing of an international student is or has been placed at risk. The School has welfare responsibility for international students under the Age of 18 who do not reside with a DIAC-approved relative in Australia.
4. International students remain at particular risk and are especially vulnerable to potential harm. They are often exposed to a range of additional risks that must be addressed. These include their temporary status, the conditions of their visa, the implications of cultural differences and norms, their level of English language skill, access to immediate family, and social support relationships.
1. Schools are responsible for the development of appropriate welfare structures to ensure the provision of a positive and supportive school environment with coordinated and comprehensive services for students.
2. Schools must follow the emergency management plans developed in response to critical incidents involving their students, including international students attending their school.
3. Schools remain responsible for program service delivery to international students. They retain welfare support and emergency management resources, and should work to develop a trusting and supportive relationship with the student. Schools remain best placed to coordinate an immediate service support response.
Procedure – Critical incidents
• When a critical incident occurs, immediate and effective steps must be taken to ensure the student’s safety and that appropriate professional and specialist support services are put in place.
• The school the student attends is immediately notified of the incident. If appropriate, the student may be referred to approved professionals and/or support agencies at the discretion of the school. Privacy of the student must be considered.
• Information provided to the school by Homestay Australia must be succinct and accurate.
Critical Incident Report
• Homestay Australia will generate a Critical Incident Report at the request of the school, including any actions taken and their outcomes.
• The School advises Homestay Australia of the best course of action to be taken based on the School’s student welfare policy.
• At the request of the School, Homestay Australia will provide regular updates via the Host family as to the student’s progress post-incident.