As the Coronavirus pandemic has an increasing impact on lives in the
United Kingdom, Refugees At Home have developed a temporary policy to
help guide hosts and home visitors.
The safety and wellbeing of hosts, home visitors and guests is our priority
and we should now all be practicing Social Distancing.
We are however facing increased demand for placements and a significant
reduction in the number of hosts available. To try and ensure as many
hosts can be ‘visited’ as possible, we are adapting to allow virtual home
visits where possible.
During a virtual home visits, a host should be able to conduct a virtual tour
of the house – the areas that a guest would use. The Home Visitor should
be available via video call to answer questions as would normally happen
on a home visit. Skype, What’s App or Facetime all have video functions.
This might mean that the visit takes a little longer than normal, trying to
have hosting related conversations over video call may not always allow for
the body language or silences to be interpreted well, so we are asking
home visitors to give hosts that extra bit of support during this virutal home
visit to make sure that everything is covered.
We will still need a written home visit report and references to be taken up
before we can place with any new hosts.
Once we are through this crisis, we would expect Home Visitors and Hosts
to meet as normal, although at that point a full home visit will not be
For those unable to take part in a virtual home visit, we are asking that
visits be postponed until at least April, and that for anyone showing signs of
Coronavirus (host or HV) that the visit should be rescheduled.
For hosts with specific concerns about Coronavirus, we are taking the
necessary precautions and asking as standard that our referrers have the
appropriate conversations with guests about symptoms and preventative
measures (using a translator if necessary).
We are also explaining to hosts that should they host and either they or
their guest develop symptoms, our recommendation is that they all self
isolate together. If a host does not want to do this and is adamant that the
guest should leave, we will unfortunately not be able to offer a further
placement during the period which the guest should be in self isolation.
Because of the decrease in the number of available hosts we are being
completely transparent with referrers that we may not be able to offer
hosting for as long as previously been discussed, or that it might need to
end at short notice. We will be making hosts aware of this too when we ask
them to take on a new placement.
Hosts are likely to feel anxious about hosting and may need some extra
support – this includes hosts who you have already met.
Please read ourCoronavirus policy
If you have any questions about this new policy, or the steps we are taking
please contact firstname.lastname@example.org