Education A Washington Roundup

U.S. May Require Checks on Foreign-Exchange Hosts

By Mary Ann Zehr — March 14, 2006 1 min read
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The Department of State is set to require for the first time that criminal-background checks be conducted for host families of high school foreign-exchange students and the volunteers and employees of the groups that sponsor them.

Stanley Colvin, the director of the State Department’s office of exchange coordination and designation, said in an interview that the department would publish a final rule requiring the background checks “shortly.” The rule described by Mr. Colvin contains stiffer screening requirements for host families than the State Department proposed last year. (“State Dept. Proposes Safety Measures for Exchange Students” Aug. 31, 2005.)

At that time, the department proposed that criminal-background checks be required only for staff members and program volunteers of foreign-exchange programs, and not for host families.

Mr. Colvin said comments from the public about the proposed rule convinced the State Department that it should require such checks for adults in host families as well.

A version of this article appeared in the March 15, 2006 edition of Education Week

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