Ameristudent Critical Incident Response Protocols

Ameristudent Critical Incident Response Policy

Specific responses to any of the incidents below should be documented on the critical incident report form. Review the specific response required for each category. Responses assume notification of incident by 24/7 hotline, student, host or other associated party.

The AmeriStudent hotline (855-385-0911) should be contacted when AmeriStudent Local Coordinators determine that a critical incident has occurred. This will allow AmeriStudent executive management to be paged appropriately.

Unless they have been assigned as a Designated Guardian (e.g. as part of the AmeriStudent High School Program or Parent Nominated Homestay), host families are not the legal guardians for participants nor are they legally responsible for the participant they host. The host family-participant relationship is legally termed a “host-Student” relationship. This means that host families are expected to give due care to participants but are not legally responsible for them. Natural families always have the final say on matters that affect their children.

  1. Death of a student
  • Collect all necessary data from reporting person on death of student form
  • Contact AmeriStudent CEO or senior VP or duty officer if after hours
  • Senior executives should contact family, educational institution and agent personally
  • Continue follow-up and record all conversations
  • Inventory personal effects, send to natural parents, copy to office\ host family
  1. Death of a close family member
  • Collect all information and report all details to AmeriStudent office or duty officer if after hours
  • AmeriStudent corporate office should verify details
  • If natural family did not inform AmeriStudent of the death, corporate executives should contact the family for input as to how student should be informed
  • If the student’s natural family requests AmeriStudent to do so, contact host family (or agent) and ask them to inform student of the death
  • One way or round trip transportation for the student is to be arranged by agent or parent if necessary
  1. Attempted suicide
  • Confirm that medical attention has been received for student
  • Collect all information and report all details to AmeriStudent office or duty officer if after hours
  • Any direct or indirect statements from the participant should be taken at full value.
  • Obtain emergency medical services in consultation with AmeriStudent office or duty officer if after hours
  • Monitor the need for counseling and maintain contact with those who may need ongoing support
  1. Life threatening illness or accident
  • Confirm that host or other person has arranged for emergency care e.g. ambulance or travel to emergency room
  • Contact AmeriStudent management through hotline support
  • AmeriStudent management to contact natural parents immediately with information with contact information on hospital, attending physician, diagnosis, prognosis and treatment
  1. Rape or physical assault
  • Determine if medical care is required or if student is in a safe place
  • Report cases of assault immediately to AmeriStudent corporate or duty officer
  • Arrange medical attention
  • Arrange rape counseling services
  • Inform police if student is a minor; or assist student with police contact
  • Assist with informing police if student requests
  • Monitor the need for counseling and maintain contact with those who may need ongoing support
  1. Sexual molestation\harassment in home

These incidents are often more ambiguous than sexual assault and require investigation by AmeriStudent staff. When reported, the staff member to whom it is reported should in turn report it to AmeriStudent management. It is important to remain calm and non-judgmental, but to acknowledge and accept that the participant’s emotional reaction to the situation is valid, and requires investigation.

  • Take information from student and ask for them to wait for a call from AmeriStudent
  • Remove the student from the situation immediately
  • Have the student interviewed (preferably by a person of the same gender) to assess whether there was a misinterpretation of events or whether there was an actual and intended impropriety
  • Consult with AmeriStudent management on appropriate actions pending the outcome of the participant’s interview
  • Ensure confidentiality of all information regarding the incident for the protection of the AmeriStudent participant and host family member
  • NOTE: Ameristudent may need to report suspected cases of abuse to local authorities depending on state law
  • Monitor the need for counseling and maintain contact with those who may need ongoing support
  1. Student in legal trouble

If a student is arrested or gets into legal trouble, contact AmeriStudent corporate staff or duty officer immediately so they can contact the natural family or agent. It is the natural family’s decision if AmeriStudent should assist in procuring legal counsel. AmeriStudent will not directly hire or pay for this legal counsel – this is the sole responsibility of the natural family.

It should be kept in mind that an individual whom the police seek to interrogate has the right to have legal counsel present during the interrogation and also has the right to remain silent during such interrogation.

  1. Mental health crisis
  • Talk to student regarding their state of mind
  • Any direct or indirect statements from the participant should be taken at full value
  • Determine if medical services or counselling is required in consultation with AmeriStudent office or duty officer if after hours
  • Monitor the need for counseling and ask hosts to pay attention to student’s behavior
  1. Drug or alcohol overdose
  • Confirm that host or other person has arranged for emergency care e.g. ambulance or travel to emergency room
  • Contact AmeriStudent management through hotline support
  • AmeriStudent management to contact natural parents immediately with contact information for the hospital, attending physician, diagnosis, prognosis and treatment 
  1. Fire/explosion with injuries or significant damage
  • Confirm that host or other person has arranged for emergency care e.g. ambulance or travel to emergency room
  • Contact AmeriStudent management through hotline support
  • AmeriStudent management to contact natural parents immediately with contact information for the hospital, attending physician, diagnosis, prognosis and treatment
  1. Natural disasters (local and international), international hostage situation, chemical/radiation, bio-hazard spillage, infectious disease
  • Respond to natural parents as soon as possible with factual information
  • Students should remain with host families and not leave home
  • Regional offices should contact hosts and students for status update
  • Identify and report any student or family about whom you do not have information and actions you are taking to secure this information
  1. Student was not picked up from airport on arrival.
  • Contact AmeriStudent local coordinator who should pickup student if situation demands.
  • Confirm arrival at host home

 Updated May 2019