Homestay CatchUp August 2018 – our latest newsletter

Homestay CatchUp – August 2018

 Dear homestay partners,

 It’s been a busy few months with homestay students, thank you very much in helping our recently-arrived international students.

There are some important changes to the Working With Children legislations, and our compliance obligations to colleges. Please read the below and let us know if you have any questions or concerns.

We have intakes coming in October, so let a friend know and introduce them to the rewards of homestay hosting!

– Winnie

 IMPORTANT NOTICE – CHANGES TO WORKING WITH CHILDREN (‘WWCC’) LEGISLATION

In June 2018, changes were made to WWCC laws. The main changes that may affect homestay hosts are:

  • WWCC holders must keep their personal details up to date or risk a penalty
  • Employers must verify child-related workers or risk a fine (which we have been compliant with in any case)

If you have changed your name and/or contact details, please make sure you notify the NSW Office of Children’s Guardian by following this link.

Also as this is the fifth year of the new WWCC system, the WWCC of many of our homestay hosts would be near expiry. We do our best to remind our hosts to renew, but please check your WWCC to ensure your check has not expired. Being a homestay host without a valid WWCC is an offence and heavy penalties apply.

Has your household composition changed?

Did you recently get a new pet? Or a child turned 18? Or welcomed a new bundle of joy?

From August 2018, when we book a new student with you, we may ask if your household composition has changed from our records. Such changes may include:

  • Child turning 18;
  • Adult household member arriving (including relatives who intend to reside with you; and over-18 homestay students not allocated by us);
  • Adult household member leaving;
  • New children;
  • Pets;
  • New additions to house (especially items that may involve additional safety measures, eg. swimming pool)

This not only helps us find students that best match your profile, but also helps us in our compliance obligations to various colleges. 

Be heard – keep your email address updated!

We always appreciate keeping in touch with our homestay hosts – whether it is student stories, issues, or feedback on how we can improve.

For us to do that, please make sure that the email address you gave us is one you would check regularly.

As you know we send you important homestay information via email – like info of your student, payment reports, and latest news that help your homestay life.

So please make sure we can contact you on your email address – and if you’ve changed your phone, please let us know too!

 

Yes, please ask your homestay student to complete Census 2016

The Australian Census of Population and Housing takes place on Tuesday August 9, 2016.

We have been asked by our homestay hosts whether their students need to be included in the Census. The answer appears to be YES!

According to the Victorian Census Director, Ms Annette Kelly,

‘The census is compulsory for everyone in Australia on Census night and that includes all people who are visiting the country, whether they’re tourists or here for a longer term such as international students, or those who are on working visas…’

If your students would like information about the Census, this link from the Australian Bureau of Statistics contains information in a variety of languages.

Our September Seminar!

WIN Consultation & Services wants to listen to you – our Homestay partners!

We at WIN Consultation & Services are always keen to listen to our homestay partners, what you have to say about hosting international students.

This is why we are hosting this seminar – where we can listen to your views and concerns, and for us to provide some relevant information on homestay!

Topics include:

  • Homestay-specific insurance
  • Security and safety for hosts and students
  • Compliance requirements and best practice – Working With Children Check
  • Express your views at our Homestay Host Roundtable!

Date: Thursday 24 September 2015

Time: 11:30am – 2:00pm

Address: Taylors College, 965 Bourkle Street, Waterloo.

Cost: FREE

We look forward to seeing you there!

Connect with us on Facebook!

WIN Consultation & Services are now on Facebook!

Social media has been the new wave of communication for some time. And we are constantly looking for new and better ways to listen to our homestay families, students, and partner colleges.

Which is why we are proud to unveil our Facebook page.

For our homestay partners who don’t have Facebook or choose not to use it, fear not, for we will continue to communicate important information through our traditional channels of email, this website, and phone calls from Winnie!

We look forward to connecting with you on Facebook – and beyond – in the near future!

Important notice to all homestay families

Dear partners in homestay,

We are grateful for your ongoing, courteous and professional support of our homestay students.

This is just a friendly reminder of a few common-sense matters relating to interacting with students, particularly those under the age of 18.

  • Please be mindful of students’ cultural sensitivities when it comes to demonstrating friendliness. No doubt you wish to make your students feel ‘at-home’ and welcomed; however you may wish to err on the side of caution about physical contact, for example hugging, touching (besides the standard hand-shake), or physical proximity.
  • Consider the use of speech/language that may imply a level of intimacy with students that they may otherwise not be ready to accept. We understand certain terms of endearment (eg. ‘darling’, ‘love’) may be traditionally positive; however given that our students may be unfamiliar with our culture, please be prudent in using such terms to avoid misunderstanding.
  • We understand that some homestay hosts elect to handle students’ washings. Whilst we are sure this is a generous gesture, please be mindful that some students may prefer to handle some or all of their personal items. Please don’t be dissuaded from showing your generosity, however you may wish to consider doing so on a general level (eg. ‘would you like me to do your washings?’)

We understand that the vast majority of homestay families do the right things and unpleasant experiences are extremely rare. Nevertheless I am sure you would agree that proactive steps would minimise even those very rare instances where misunderstandings may occur.

We thank you again for your consistent support for our international students. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact our office.