Volunteer Roles and Responsibilities

Below are job descriptions for various positions within the AFS Greater Los Angeles (GLA) Area Team. Click on the link to a position of interest for more information.

Area Team Chair | Team Treasurer | Support Coordinator | Liaison Coordinator | Hosted Student-Family Liaison | Hosting Coordinator | Sending Coordinator | Young Volunteers and Returnees Coordinator | Orientations Coordinator | Volunteer Coordinator | Activities Coordinator | Sponsored Programs Cluster Coordinator | Fundraising & Scholarships Coordinator | Outreach Coordinator | Communications Coordinator | Sending Interviewer | Host Family Interviewer

The AFS prescribed Training Requirements matrix for the various volunteer positions can be found here.


Area Team Chair

Role

  • As part of the GLA Leadership Team, functions as the key volunteer leadership position for the whole Area Team. In this role, the Chair sets the tone in the Team, and works with the volunteer leadership to create a climate that embraces collaboration and diversity, and supports the mission and values AFS-USA.
  • Works in partnership with the AFS-USA assigned TDS (Team Development Specialist). Together they are responsible for coordinating the operation, management, growth and quality of AFS programs within the Team.
  • Serves as the principal liaison and representative between the Team and the AFS-USA National Office located in New York, NY for procedural and policy issues
  • Chair and Team Treasurer have the sole authority to approve Team transactions and are responsible to ensure that there are not any unauthorized withdrawals from Team bank accounts

Responsibilities

  • Arrange and preside at periodic GLA Leadership meetings
  • Facilitate annual planning and budgeting process for the Team
  • Work with the TDS (Team Development Specialist) and other Volunteer Leaders to determine the volunteer structure and roles needed to best ensure the team’s ability to achieve their annual goals and objectives
  • Maintain regular contact with and monitor progress of Team volunteers (including chapter/local team leaders)
  • Ensure compliance by Team with all appropriate standards and regulations including AFS-USA, AFS International, Council on Standards for International Educational Travel, and U.S. Department of State federal regulations governing exchange programs and all applicable state and federal laws
  • Serve as the primary contact between AFS-USA and Team (if applicable according to Team guidelines)
  • Communicate decisions from the National Office to the Team
  • Ensure annual Team goals are achieved

Training

  • Required
    • Department of State (DoS) Certification
    • Hosting & Support (H&S) Affiliation
  • Recommended
    • Liaison Training
    • Host Family Recruitment
    • School Relationships

Team Treasurer

Role

  • As part of the GLA Leadership Team, responsible for overseeing the management and accounting of the Area Team and/or Chapter finances.
  • Team Treasurer and Chair have the sole authority to approve Team related transactions and are responsible to ensure that there are not any unauthorized withdrawals from Team bank accounts

Responsibilities

  • Work closely with the Area Team and/or local Chapters regarding financial matters
  • Maintain accurate records that include all income and expenses in compliance with IRS regulations and with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP)
  • Responsible for the appropriate use of co-support and locally raised funds, in accordance with the spending guidelines outlined in the Treasurer Manual and section in Help & Learning
  • Team Treasurer and Chair have the sole authority to approve transactions are and are responsible to ensure that there are not unauthorized withdrawals from Team bank accounts
  • Responsible for the timely submission of a complete financial package to the Field Finance team as specified in the Treasurers Manual and in the following section in Help & Learning
  • Manage specific aspects of banking relationship and under direction of the AFS Field Finance staff
  • Ensure that spending is within reasonable limits and/or within the Team’s established budget
  • Support the financial goals of AFS-USA, which may differ from time to time depending on business needs. Such goals will be communicated as necessary
  • Work as a team with the AFS-USA staff in Finance, Team Development, Organizational Development and Volunteer Development

Training

  • None Required or Recommended

Support Coordinator

Role

  • As part of the GLA Leadership Team, oversees all participant and family support needs within the team
  • Acts as the primary liaison between the AFS-USA National Participant Support Department and the Team for support cases as needed

Responsibilities

  • Communicate liaison assignments to AFS Participant Support Specialists and/or TDS in a timely manner
  • Work with the team to identify, coordinate, and empower volunteers locally to have the skills, training, and support they need to provide a quality intercultural learning experience to all GLA participants and families.
  • Ensure all hosted participants, host families, and natural parents of Americans Abroad have an assigned local support volunteer, i.e., liaison
  • Ensure that each liaison has completed their required training
  • In conjunction with the Liaison Coordinator, ensure required contacts and visits take place and are properly reported for all hosted students, host families and schools in a timely manner per AFS guidelines
  • Assist in direct support and work with Hosting Coordinator in the host family move process
  • Ensure compliance with AFS support standards as outlined in the Team Agreement with AFS-USA
  • Manages serious support situations in direct consultation with the AFS-USA Participant Support Department
  • Ensure written, dated documentation of all support cases; collaborate and consult with Participant Support Staff keeping them informed of ongoing cases
  • Develop and maintains  list of local support professionals to call upon as needed (i.e. lawyer, grief counselor, clergy, etc.)

Training

  • Required
    • Department of State (DoS) Certification
    • Hosting & Support (H&S) Affiliation
  • Recommended
    • Liaison Training

Liaison Coordinator

Role

  • As part of the GLA Leadership Team and in conjunction with the Support Coordinator, provides guidance and mentorship to liaisons  and ensures that all liaisons are maintaining and documenting required contacts with the host student, host family and school in Global Link

Responsibilities

  • Ensure that liaisons are maintaining and documenting the required monthly, 30/60 day contacts and visits are occurring and documented in Global Link in a timely manner
  • As a best practice, AFS-USA recommends that hosted students and host families are assigned a liaison with no more than two host students/families per liaison

Training

  • Required
    • Department of State (DoS) Certification
    • Hosting & Support (H&S) Affiliation
  • Recommended
    • Liaison Training

Hosted Student-Family Liaison

Role

  • As a key part of the Team support network, works directly with international high school students and their U.S. host families to foster a life-changing journey for both parties
  • Guides hosted students and their host families through the international exchange experience while developing your own cross-cultural communication skills

Responsibilities

  • Maintain and document regular (monthly) contact and in-home visits with the host student and host family
  • Maintain and document contact with the host student’s school, three times a year for Year Program (YP) students, and two times during their stay for Semester (SEM) students.
  • Provide support and information to the host student, host family and the school
  • Report immediately to the Support Coordinator and the Chair about issues impacting the host student and/or host family’s experience as they arise
  • (Note:  If the school hosts more than one AFS host student, it is recommended that the team/chapter identify one volunteer (could be a Liaison, Support Coordinator, Liaison Coordinator, Associate Support Coordinator, etc.) to contact the school on behalf of all the AFS host students.)

Training

  • Required
    • Department of State (DoS) Certification
    • Hosting & Support (H&S) Affiliation
    • Liaison Training
  • Recommended
    • School Relationships

Hosting Coordinator

Role

  • As part of the GLA Leadership Team, facilitates and monitors the recruitment of host families and placement of AFS host students in the team along with working to develop and support local hosting volunteers
  • Serves as the principal liaison between the Team and the AFS Staff for procedural and policy issues related to host family recruitment and student placement

Responsibilities

  • Ensure that all host family related documentation, including the associated school Placement Acceptance Form (PAF), are submitted to AFS in a timely manner
  • Coordinate with Chair and AFS Staff to create a hosting plan and oversee the implementation of it
  • Form and manage a Hosting Team, comprised of assistants, etc., in order to achieve the Team's hosting goals
  • Work with Support Coordinator as needed in finding replacement families in situations where a host student requires a change in host family
  • Ensure the potential host family is informed and knowledgeable of AFS and the host family's responsibilities
  • Collaborate with team, chapter/local volunteers, and TDS to gather information regarding hosting potential of the team to create and implement a hosting recruitment plan
  • Work with the team in ensuring schools have local AFS contacts to maintain quality relationships with administrators and faculty
  • Coordinate the selection and distribution of host student applications for the team
  • Receive and distribute nationally and regionally generated host family leads to volunteer contacts in chapter/local units ideally by using Hosting Lead Management tools provided by AFS-USA
  • Encourage hosted students to write Letters to the Editor at some point during their academic year and to make school and other community presentations for International Education Week and at other opportune points during the school yea

Training

  • Required
    • Department of State (DoS) Certification
    • Hosting & Support (H&S) Affiliation
  • Recommended
    • Host Family Recruitment
    • School Relationships

Host Family Interviewer

Role

  • As part of the Hosting Team, interviews potential host families interested in hosting an AFS participant to assess the viability of the potential host family and determines that they meet the criteria required by the AFS program in order to host a student

Responsibilities

  • Contact, arrange for and conduct the host family interview per AFS guidelines
  • Along with the Hosting Coordinator, ensure that the applicant is informed and understands the requirements and expectations of the AFS program to which they are applying
  • Be available to answer questions and provide applicants with the information and resources they need to support their AFS experience
  • Complete the required interview form/s and ensure their timely submission to AFS-USA

Training

  • Required
    • Department of State (DoS) Certification
    • Hosting & Support (H&S) Affiliation
  • Recommended
    • Host Family Recruitment

Sending Coordinator

Role

  • As part of the GLA Leadership Team, facilitates and monitors the recruitment and selection of candidates for the various sending programs of AFS and works with local volunteers to increase the number of students going abroad
  • Serves as the principal liaison between the Team and the AFS Staff for procedural and policy issues related to student recruitment and outbound programs

Responsibilities

  • Coordinate with Chair and AFS Staff to create a sending recruitment plan and oversees the implementation of it
  • Form and manage a Sending Team, comprised of assistants, etc., in order to achieve the Team's sending goals
  • Ensure that the applicant is informed and understands the requirements and expectations of the AFS program to which they are applying
  • Ensure through collaboration with chapter/local volunteers the timely follow-up of recently received applications
  • Ensures quality AFS relationships with school administrators and faculty
  • Provide or help ensure volunteer training in student recruitment activities such as school presentations, effective publicity, sending interviews, etc.
  • Act as liaison between chapter/local volunteers, participants and the national staff including, but not limited to procedure and policy information
  • Receive and handle sending inquiries either through chapter/local volunteers or directly
  • Maintain a supply and distribute sending recruitment materials
  • Ensure that contact with applicant and natural family is maintained throughout the sending cycle, including suggestions for meeting financial needs, to ensure retention
  • Follow up with students who have begun their application encouraging them to complete Part II of the application and arrange for their interviews with local volunteers. Incorporate the student and family into local activities

Training

  • Required
    • Sending Interviewer Training

Sending Interviewer

Role

  • As part of the Sending Team, interviews potential students wanting to go abroad on an AFS program to assess the viability of the applicant and determine that they meet the criteria required by the AFS program to which they are applying

Responsibilities

  • Contact and set up the applicant's interview
  • Ensure that the applicant is informed and knowledgeable of AFS and its programs
  • Along with Sending Coordinator, ensure that the applicant is informed and understands the requirements and expectations of the AFS program to which they are applying
  • Be available to answer questions and provide applicants with the information and resources they need to support their AFS experience
  • Complete the required interview form/s and ensure their timely submission to AFS-USA

Training

  • Required
    • Sending Interviewer

Fundraising & Scholarships Coordinator

Role

  • As part of the Area Team leadership, oversees the Fundraising & Scholarship Committee (the "Committee), sets meetings, helps the committee set goals for fundraising, student recruitment, student/donor interactions, tracking alumni student accomplishments, grant writing and all things related to helping raise funds and send underserved students on an AFS experience; including working with the committee to set parameters regarding the committee’s relationship with AFS-USA

Responsibilities

  • Work with the Committee, high schools, volunteers and scholarship alumni to recruit students, who otherwise could not afford it, to go on AFS experiences
  • Work with AFS-USA, schools, volunteers and students to ensure potential scholarship students timely complete all applicable requirements for their student abroad experience
  • Work with the Committee to determine the amount of needs-based scholarships awarded to individual applicants, including program cost, clothing, passport, visa and immunization scholarships where necessary
  • Work with AFS-USA to ensure scholarship students and their families have a successful AFS experience
  • Work with the Committee to engage donors, and attract funds necessary to meet the mission of sending students from underserved areas abroad
  • Work with the Committee and volunteers on Letters of Intent and grant writing to raise funds

Training

  • None Required or Recommended

Orientations Coordinator

Role

  • As part of the GLA Leadership Team, facilitates the required number of orientations for the AFS students and families that are hosted or sent from our area team
  • Oversees the planning, training, staffing and delivery of all orientations and work with a team of volunteers to deliver a quality orientation program

Responsibilities

  • Ensure that at least the minimum prescribed orientation is provided to each hosted student, host family, sending student, and natural family in the Team
  • Develop and implement a plan to provide all prescribed orientations for program participants in the Team
  • Develop an annual master calendar of all orientation activities taking place at the Team and local level, and to identify volunteer support needs for the orientation, e.g., the number of counselors required, parents' orientation needs, etc.
  • Oversee the timely distribution of all orientation materials
  • Ensure that all key orientation providers receive training: a) an initial training for new facilitators and b) a refresher session for previous facilitators
  • Develop productive working relationships with local team volunteers and monitor local orientation activities to ensure quality delivery of orientation services
  • Evaluate orientation activities and make recommendations to the Team
  • Request supplies well in advance of each orientation; (separate lists for each type of orientation can be generated)
  • Determine time, place, events, and responsible persons for each orientation
  • Make sure all required sign-in sheets are signed and returned to the National office in a timely manner

Training

  • Required
    • Department of State (DoS) Certification
    • Hosting & Support (H&S) Affiliation

Volunteer Coordinator

Role

  • As part of the GLA Leadership Team, works to support volunteer registration, recruitment, integration, training and identify tasking needs and opportunities for engagement within our area team

Responsibilities

  • Collaborate with the Chair and other Team leaders to assess local volunteer needs for the various activities throughout the year
  • Oversee the volunteer registration and re-registration process of our Team volunteers
  • In conjunction with the Chair, create a volunteer development plan for the Team which includes identifying the roles and tasks that need to be fulfilled by volunteers in support of the team's goals and AFS activities within the team
  • Form and manage a Volunteer Development Team, comprised of assistants, etc., in order to achieve the Team's volunteer development goals
  • Coordinate recruitment and welcoming of new volunteers
  • Work to facilitate connecting new volunteers with areas of interest and current team leadership
  • Work with team leadership to develop new strategies and approaches to engage and utilize volunteers with the intention of growing the volunteer base and deepening and broadening the level of engagement enjoyed by the volunteers
  • Ensure follow up with new volunteer leads in a timely manner including ensuring that every volunteer has a Volunteer Interview completed as soon as possible
  • Work with the Team and chapters to develop and implement a plan to recognize volunteers

Training

  • Required
    • Department of State (DoS) Certification
    • Hosting & Support (H&S) Affiliation
    • Volunteer Interviewer Training
  • Recommended
    • Liaison Training
    • Host Family Recruitment
    • School Relationships
    • Sending Interviewer

 

Young Volunteers and Returnees Coordinator

Role

  • As part of the Area Team leadership serves as the main liaison to recent GLA returnees and young volunteers within the Team to encourage their active engagement within the Team

Responsibilities

  • In conjunction with the Chair and Volunteer Coordinator, help to recruit young volunteers that are interested in supporting the various team activities throughout the year where younger volunteers take on an active role, e.g., orientations, hosting and sending activities, social media, etc.
  • In conjunction with the Orientations Coordinator, coordinate "Welcome Home" events, i.e., with the help of the GLA volunteers and other Returnee volunteers, plan fun gatherings for recent Returnees
  • Working with the Outreach Coordinator, help identify strategies for reaching out to returnees and other potential young volunteers (e.g., host siblings, friends, etc.) and develop strategies for implementation
  • Work with Outreach Coordinator as needed to ensure that AFS is constantly developing a pool of prospective young volunteers via a variety of modalities
  • Identify and organize activities that will appeal to young volunteers and potential young volunteers that offer opportunities for social, civic, or AFS volunteer engagement
  • Host informal Returnee Meetups, i.e., gather Returnees in the community for a periodic informal Get-Together
  • Host informal young volunteers' meetups, i.e., gather volunteers in the community for a periodic informal Get-Together
  • Support Returnees upon re-entry and helps to facilitate communication between GLA volunteers and the Returnee population
  • Inspire Returnees to become AFS Registered Volunteers

Training

  • Recommended
    • Returnee Coordinator Training

Outreach Coordinator

Role

  • As part of the Area Team leadership, responsible for promoting AFS within our Team's communities and schools

Responsibilities

  • Coordinate with Chair and Communications Coordinator to create an outreach plan and oversee the implementation of it
  • Working with Chair and Area Team leadership, develop strategies for reaching out to current Team constituent members (registered but inactive volunteers, former volunteers, current host families, former host family members, and returnees of all ages) to invite them to become more active as volunteers
  • Identify marketing opportunities for increasing hosting and sending visibility
  • Work with Chair and Hosting and Sending Coordinators to identifying targeted schools for outreach and targeted ways for community outreach, e.g., local newspapers, TV, radio shows, our social media means, etc., in order to  promote AFS presence in our schools and community
  • Form and manage an Outreach Team, comprised of assistants, etc., in order to achieve the Team's outreach goals
  • Plan and execute community outreach events and/or school presentations every two weeks
  • School Outreach
    • Contact key schools in order to identify a point of contact at the school and build a working relationship with those contacts
    • Contact currently hosted students to determine who to contact at their schools in order to establish a presence at the school and for scheduling and conducting school presentations
    • Work with Team Leadership to identify School Liaisons to serve as consistent points of contact for each school
    • Schedule and conduct sending and hosting presentations at local schools
  • Community Outreach
    • Identify ways of  promoting AFS within the various GLA communities by contacting local AFS volunteers within those communities to explore opportunities
    • Identity community events, e.g., periodic church local community sponsored events, where our volunteers and/or students (i.e., returnees or hosted students) can have a table or do a presentation in order to promote AFS Sending and Hosting
    • Schedule and conduct hosting and sending presentations and/or manning of a table at community events
    • Identify opportunities for public advertising of AFS in each community, e.g., local newspapers and flyers, etc.

Training

  • Recommended
    • Build Relationships with High Schools

Communications Coordinator

Role

  • As part of the Area Team leadership, facilitates and maintains the Team's internal and external communications including Team newsletter and social media outlets

Responsibilities

  • Work with Chair and Outreach Coordinator in aligning public relations strategies and communications
  • Form and manage a Communications Team, comprised of assistants, etc., in order to achieve the Team's communications goals
  • Solicit inputs from the Team for event announcements, photos, news articles, newsletters, press releases, etc. for inclusion in Team's newsletter and social media outlets, i.e., Team website, Team Facebook Page and with local news media
  • Ensure consistent and engaging postings and conversations on social media outlets, including Team's newsletter and social media outlets
  • Measure and report on the effectiveness of our Team's communications activities
  • Identify ways of improving the visibility of AFS within the Team's Los Angeles community
  • Ensure that Team's publicly published material, i.e., on social media and local news media) is according to AFS-USA's media policies and guidelines for working with the media including Guidelines for Promoting AFS

Training

  • None Required or Recommended

Activities Coordinator

Role

  • As part of the Area Team leadership, organizes social and enrichment activities for the Team, which include students, host families and volunteers, throughout the year

Responsibilities

  • Coordinates with the Chair and other Team members as needed on the proposed dates for any Team activities
  • Develops an annual calendar of activities that provide enrichment activities for the hosted students, host families and volunteers
  • Working with other volunteers on the activities team, ensures that each activity is managed and staffed as needed with appropriate volunteers for transportation and other needs

Training

  • None Required or Recommended

Sponsored Programs Cluster Coordinator

Role

  • As part of the Area Team leadership, oversees the program activities for the host students in your team that come to AFS-USA through the Department of State (DoS) Scholarship Programs, which includes our Congress Bundestag (CB) and YES host students, who are hosted in clusters of at least three students

Responsibilities

  • Coordinate proposed activity dates with Team volunteers, hosted Sponsored Program students and their host families as well as others in the Team who may be included in an activity
  • Develop a minimum of three to six enrichment cluster activities focused on Government, Cultural Diversity/Native Peoples, and Community Service/Volunteerism; each enrichment cluster activity should have defined learning objectives since learning objectives are tangible goals that will help Cluster Coordinators and students focus on a specific area within the theme of the activity
  • Over the course of the school year, identify and work with local resources including businesses, government institutions, community service organizations, civic and youth groups in arranging for culturally enriching activities for the Sponsored Program students, in particular
  • Provide a Cluster Activity Report for each enrichment activity to the National Office
  • Participate in mandatory Monthly Cluster Coordinator conference calls
  • Provide Team with updates on special awards, achievements, interesting activities of the Sponsored Programs students and host families in our area
  • Encourage Sponsored Programs students, in particular, to write Letters to the Editor at some point during their academic year and to make school and other community presentations for International Education Week and at other opportune points during the school year
  • Include one meeting at the home office of the U.S. Congressional Representative for your district, allowing the students the opportunity to thank the Congressional Representative for their scholarship

Training

  • Required
    • Department of State (DoS) Certification
    • Hosting & Support (H&S) Affiliation
  • Recommended
    • Liaison Training
    • Host Family Recruitment
    • School Relationships

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