Prior to attending a visit we advise that each Home visitor lets a friend or family member know about the time and place of your home visit and when you expect the visit to be completed.
It helps to take a copy of the Home Visit checklist with you to the visit. Before the visit you might want to reread the host application form so you can highlight any areas you think might be issues of concern.
When you arrive, you need to create a relaxed, informal atmosphere in which the potential host feels able to open up to you to discuss any concerns or anxieties about taking in a refugee guest. Once you have introduced yourself, a good way of starting the visit is to ask to be shown around the home. The host is leading you and therefore this is a good way of enabling them to feel relaxed in your company. You will also need to enter details of the accommodation in your report. After this, you can begin your conversation which covers the checklist questions. Often you will be asked if you would like a cup of tea and accepting can be helpful to create rapport and a relaxed atmosphere. If, however, the potential hosts appear to be in a rush, it may be better to start the checklist as soon as possible.
We recommend using our Welcome Pack Template during a home visit to prompt discussion around house rules. This is a visual guide which helps guests understand the house rules and whether they are allowed to use things like the cooker or washing machine. Hosts often say they have no house rules and this is a way to explore with them their own expectations, and to help them make these clear to guests. Guests often won’t automatically assume they can use facilities within the home. Hosts should be encouraged to complete a Welcome Pack for their own home which they can share with newly arrived guests – clear communication at the beginning really promotes smooth placements.
If a host has preferences in terms of what kind of placement would suit their household best, please do include this in your report. Equally, if you as Home Visitor feel that certain limitations are appropriate, please also include this. Below are some questions that often come up: