This document outlines the safeguarding policy and process of host family initial visits, revisits, ongoing monitoring of host families and spot checks as completed by the Local Coordinators. Reports for each stage of the process are recorded on IBOS and BLINK with central monitoring at Head Office.
This policy ensures that we maintain the highest possible safeguarding standards within our host families and meets the requirements of our AEGIS accreditation.
Bright World Guardianships is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment. This commitment extends to the Safer Recruitment of host families which includes policy and procedures relating to initial visits, revisits and spot checks. Bright World Guardianships policy is to proactively emphasise this document on the website and during the host family recruitment process, to deter unsuitable candidates who may pose a risk to children and young people.
Bright World Guardianships policy is that following the positive screening of an application form by a prospective host family, the Local Coordinator will be invited to visit the applicant. The purpose of this planned visit is to interview the applicant, inspect the house and car, complete the interview form and identification checks required for an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check on all adults aged 16 years and over who live in the house, and complete the health and safety risk assessment. During the visit, the Local Coordinator takes photographs of the home and uploads the information to BLINK for authorisation by Head Office. Host families who are successful with the accreditation process become‘active’ while families who are deemed to be unsuitable will not be used to host Bright World students.
Following initial accreditation to become a Bright World host family, the Local Coordinator will revisit every active host family in their area for an annual inspection. The purpose of this process is to ensure that the facilities being offered are of the same standards as per the initial inspection report, that there are no new circumstances in the house that need to be reviewed (for example members of the family who have turned 16 years old and need a DBS check, new pets or new rooms which have been built), and that the home remains suitable for hosting Bright World Guardianships students. There is also an annual review of the information held on IBOS in respect of the health and safety risk assessment. The Local Coordinator completes a record of the revisit on the revisit form, the details of which are subsequently uploaded to BLINK for authorisation by Head Office. The host family will only remain active if they pass the revisit inspection. Families who are no longer deemed suitable to host students will be removed from the ‘active’ list.
In exceptional circumstances, an online video revisit is acceptable provided the host family has a movable device like a phone or ipad that can undertake a full and detailed tour of the house and includes a meeting that asks all the questions that we would normally ask in person. This visit must be done by the DSL or our Safeguarding and Recruitment Manager to ensure the process is properly followed. Where possible, this would be followed up by an in-person visit.
To ensure on-going monitoring of the safeguarding standards after the initial recruitment, Bright World Guardianships proactively undertake host family spot checks. The policy is that in week 1 of the Spring Term, Head Office Accommodation and Local Coordinator Manager will randomly select 5 Local Coordinators to contact, with a request for each Local Coordinator to complete one spot check a year on a host family in their area. The Local Coordinator will select one host family to visit during the Spring Term
of an academic year. This visit is announced to the host family with no more than 3 days notice, and should be at a time when a host family is hosting a Bright World Student.
Prior to the spot check visit, the local Coordinator will check the host family annual re-inspection date on BLINK. If the annual re-isnepction (revisit) is due within 2 months of the spot check date, the Local Coordinator will complete the re-inspection at the same time as the spot check visit. This should include new photographs, check of the home and car insurance certificates and new photographs where appropriate. During the visit, the Local Coordinator completes the Host Family Spot Check Report (Revisit Report) and within 48 hours of the inspection, uploads the information to BLINK for authorisation at Head Office indicating that the visit type is Host Family Revisit. Where a host family either declines to comply with the spot check process or is deemed to be unsuitable as a result of the process, the family will no longer be active and the student will be moved to an alternative host family. In addition, the suitability of the host family for Bright World students is also monitored during the academic year through the Care Plan process. Feedback is regularly sought from students and host families following an ‘event’ (for example half term or exeat weekend). This allows any safeguarding, child
protection or customer service issues to be effectively managed with our partners (for example schools, parents, students, travel companies, host families) in a timely manner.