View Document

Under 18 Welfare and Accommodation Procedure

This is the current version of this document. You can provide feedback on this document to the document author - refer to the Status and Details on the document's navigation bar.

Section 1 - Purpose

(1) This Procedure documents the responsibilities and requirements relating to the accommodation and welfare arrangements which apply to students who are under eighteen (18) years of age when they are not residing with a parent or suitable nominated relative / guardian. For international students this Procedure accords with Part B, Standard 5 of the National Code of Practice for Providers of Education and Training to Overseas Students 2018.

Scope

(2) This Procedure applies to all students who are under eighteen (18) years of age who are not residing with a parent or suitable nominated relative / guardian, all University staff supporting students aged under eighteen (18) to access accommodation and/or welfare services, and any entity providing accommodation services on behalf of the University to students aged under eighteen (18).

Top of Page

Section 2 - Policy

(3) Nil.

Top of Page

Section 3 - Procedures

Part A - Admissions of Students under Eighteen (18) Years of Age

(4) Admissions processes are documented in the Admission Policy, Admission Procedure, and Admission of Students under 18 Procedure, and identify that students under the age of eighteen (18) must complete a Welfare Arrangement Form so their welfare and accommodation arrangements can be identified and approved. If the student is an international student a Confirmation of Appropriate Accommodation and Welfare (CAAW) letter will be created in accordance with the Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000.

Part B - Accommodation Agreements

(5) Students under the age of eighteen (18) who are not residing with a parent or suitable nominated relative / guardian must reside with a host family provided by a Homestay Provider company approved by the University.

(6) In order to provide accommodation to a student under the age of eighteen (18), a Homestay Provider company must have entered into a signed Service Level Agreement with the University. The homestay provider must also have a signed agreement with the student and the student’s parent(s) or guardian.

(7) The Service Level Agreement must detail:

  1. accommodation standards, including that students under the age of eighteen (18) must have their own room, and that if there is another student residing in the homestay they must be the same gender as the student under the age of eighteen (18);
  2. processes to ensure any adult (person over 18 years old) residing at the homestay has a valid Working with Children Check Clearance. This includes any temporary visitors, people who live at the premises part-time, as well as full time residents;
  3. critical incident procedures that require the University to be notified of any critical incident involving its student within sixty (60) minutes of the incident being identified. The critical incident procedures must be reviewed every twelve (12) months;
  4. processes to ensure host families receive appropriate training, that accommodation is physically inspected at least every twelve (12) months, and that regular ongoing checks on accommodation standards are made by contacting the host family by phone or email at least every three (3) months; and
  5. requirements for monitoring accommodation standards through regular reports to be sent to the University, and regular meetings to take place between the University and a Homestay Provider to discuss the arrangements.

(8) The Chief Executive Officer of U@MQ or their nominee is responsible for:

  1. vetting and recommending to the University to appoint Homestay Provider companies by ensuring they are able to meet all the requirements of the Service Level Agreement;
  2. maintaining the Service Level Agreement and ensuring the Service Level Agreement is in place with all providers of accommodation for students;
  3. ensuring Homestay Provider Companies have appropriate procedures in place to check the suitability of accommodation settings with host families; and
  4. recommending to the University terminating an arrangement (if required) with a Homestay Provider company as detailed in the Service Level Agreement.

Part C - Transfers to and from another Education Provider

(9) Requests by international students to transfer between education providers are managed under the Transfer and Release for International Students Policy.

(10) If the University enrols an international student under the age of eighteen (18) who has welfare arrangements approved by another registered provider the University will negotiate with the provider concerning a transfer date of the welfare arrangements to the University.

(11) The University will ensure there are no gaps in the provision of welfare arrangements and provide the student and their parent / guardian with information and contact details regarding their new welfare arrangements. The University will inform the student they are obliged to maintain their current welfare arrangements until the transfer date.

(12) The University will ensure it has written confirmation of approval of the transfer from the student’s parent(s) or legal guardian before accepting responsibility for the student’s welfare and accommodation arrangements.

Part D - Welfare Arrangements

(13) The Director, Student Administration or their nominee is responsible for ensuring:

  1. that welfare arrangements for students under the age of eighteen (18) who are not residing with a parent or suitable nominated relative / guardian are approved on behalf of the University and monitored as being appropriate;
  2. that regular welfare meetings are held between the University and the student in accordance with this Procedure;
  3. that appropriate records for welfare monitoring are captured, including required PRISMS records for international students under the age of eighteen (18) who are not residing with a parent or suitable nominated relative;
  4. that compliance and quality assurance of the Service Level Agreement is monitored, including managing regular compliance reports from the Homestay Provider and twice-yearly advisory committee meetings between the University and each Homestay Provider company; and
  5. that critical incident reports from Homestay Provider companies are appropriately escalated to ensure appropriate action is taken, communicated and recorded. This includes ensuring that critical incident plans / procedures, including communication plans, are updated on an annual basis.

Designated Support Staff

(14) Students under the age of eighteen (18) who are not residing with a parent or suitable nominated relative/guardian are assigned to a Designated Support Staff to monitor their welfare.

(15) The Designated Support Staff must have a valid Working with Children Check Clearance.

(16) The Designated Support Staff will review the suitability of the welfare arrangements shown on the Welfare Arrangement Form.

(17) If the student is an international student the Designated Support Staff will sign the Confirmation of Appropriate Accommodation and Welfare (CAAW) letter and approve the welfare arrangements through PRISMS.

(18) The Designated Support Staff will arrange mandatory welfare meetings with students under the age of eighteen (18) who are not residing with a parent or suitable nominated relative / guardian at least every two (2) weeks. The student must attend and appropriately participate in mandatory welfare meetings.

(19) At the first welfare meeting the Designated Support Staff will:

  1. explain the purpose of the mandatory meeting and identify dates for future meetings set every two (2) weeks until the student turns eighteen (18);
  2. verify the student’s contact details are up to date and that the student understands they must reside at their nominated homestay address and immediately inform the university of any changes to their contact details;
  3. verify whether the student has any concerns with their homestay accommodation, and that the student has participated in relevant orientation events and knows where to access support including emergency contacts;
  4. require the student to understand the rules for their behaviour (including residing at their nominated homestay address, and participating appropriately in the welfare meetings) and sign an Acknowledgement of Responsibilities statement to that effect; and
  5. keep records of the meeting including any issues raised and how they were resolved.

(20) At ongoing welfare meetings the Designated Support Staff will:

  1. monitor with the student whether there are any issues or concerns with their welfare or accommodation, including checking who is residing at the homestay and escalating matters if required;
  2. liaise with the Homestay Provider as required if any issues about the student’s accommodation are raised;
  3. verify the student’s contact details are up to date;
  4. keep records of the meeting including any issues raised and how they were resolved; and
  5. contact the student promptly if a meeting has been missed to rearrange a new meeting and remind the student that they must attend. The Homestay Provider will also be contacted in the event the student misses a meeting so the Homestay Provider can alert the host family to also encourage the student to attend.

(21) The Designated Support Staff will immediately notify their manager to make a decision or provide specific advice for support if the following occurs:

  1. there are any serious or ongoing welfare concerns about the student, including serious issues raised via the Homestay Provider in which case the manager will recommend appropriate welfare support;
  2. the student has requested to spend time away from the host family (e.g. a holiday or overnight visit elsewhere), or that they wish to move from their current host family. In order for the University to approve the request it must be supported in writing by the student’s parent or legal guardian, and the Homestay Provider. The University is the sole decision maker to approve any such request;
  3. the student has requested to be assigned a different Designated Support Officer, in which case the manager will consider the request;
  4. the student has missed meetings or is not engaging appropriately with the welfare meetings in which case the manager will recommend warnings and other action as per clauses 24 - 28; or
  5. the student has not responded to requests to contact the staff member within twenty-four (24) hours, and/or the Homestay Provider or host family has reported the student is missing and/or any other critical incident, in which case the manager will take appropriate action under the critical incident procedure.

Part E - Maintaining Welfare Arrangements

(22) The University will maintain welfare arrangements for international students under the age of eighteen (18) who are not residing with a parent or a suitable nominated relative even if the student’s enrolment in the course and/or the student’s Confirmation of Enrolment in PRISMS has been suspended or cancelled.

(23) An international student under the age of eighteen (18) who is not residing with a parent or suitable nominated relative must continue to attend and appropriately participate in welfare meetings and meet their welfare responsibilities even if their enrolment in the course has been suspended or cancelled.

(24) The University will only end its welfare arrangement for international students in the following circumstances:

  1. the student turns eighteen (18);
  2. the student has alternative welfare arrangements approved by another provider and by the University;
  3. the student leaves Australia or the Department of Home Affairs approves care for the student by a parent or nominated relative; or
  4. the University is no longer able to approve the welfare arrangements of a student because the student is not meeting their responsibilities and / or the University has been unable to contact the student.

(25) If the University is no longer able to approve the welfare arrangements of an international student under the age of eighteen (18) who is not residing with a parent or a suitable nominated relative the University will report the cancellation of the Confirmation of Appropriate Accommodation and Welfare (CAAW) via PRISMS within twenty-four (24) hours of the decision. This decision will be approved by the Director, Student Administration or their nominee.

(26) Before cancelling a student’s Confirmation of Appropriate Accommodation and Welfare (CAAW) the University will normally have:

  1. warned the student in writing that they are not meeting their welfare responsibilities and that the university may cancel the welfare arrangement; and
  2. made reasonable efforts to notify the student, the student’s parents or legal guardian and the Homestay Provider in advance.

(27) The Director, Student Administration or their nominee may approve the cancellation of the Confirmation of Appropriate Accommodation and Welfare (CAAW) immediately if the reason for cancellation is determined to be urgent.

(28) If the University has cancelled a student’s CAAW the University will also cancel the student’s Confirmation of Enrolment and enrolment in their course. The student will be sent a notification of the cancellation in advance which will notify the student they have twenty (20) working days to appeal the decision. A copy of the notification will be sent to the student's parents or legal guardian and Homestay Provider. The cancellation of an international student’s Conformation of Enrolment for the course will not be reported to the Department of Home Affairs until the appeal process has been completed, and/or the student has chosen not to lodge an appeal.

Top of Page

Section 4 - Guidelines

(29) Nil.

Top of Page

Section 5 - Definitions

(30) Commonly defined terms are located in the University Glossary. The following definitions apply for the purpose of this Procedure: 

  1. Confirmation of Appropriate Accommodation and Welfare (CAAW) letter means a letter confirming the University accepts welfare responsibility for an international student under the Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000.
  2. Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) means a record in PRISMS of an international student’s enrolment with the University that is required under the conditions of the international student’s visa.
  3. Department of Home Affairs means the Commonwealth Department of Home Affairs.
  4. Designated Support Staff means a member of staff who is responsible for providing welfare support to students.
  5. Guardian means a person identified and approved as a Guardian of a student by the Commonwealth Department of Home Affairs.
  6. Homestay Provider company means a company that provides accommodation for students in approved family home settings.
  7. Service Level Agreement means a contract entered into by the University and a Homestay Provider company which sets out minimum accommodation and welfare standards that the Homestay Provider company must meet.
  8. Suitable nominated relative means a relative over the age of twenty-one (21) who is a grandparent, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, niece or nephew, or a step grandparent, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, niece or nephew.
  9. PRISMS means a database operated by the Commonwealth Department of Home Affairs referenced in the Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000.
  10. Welfare arrangement means support to monitor the health and wellbeing of a student.
  11. Welfare Arrangement Form means the form setting out welfare arrangements which a student under the age of eighteen (18) must complete when they apply to the University.