Child Advocacy Group Encourages Parents To Do Their Homework
More than 30,000 high school foreign exchange students who were planning to come to America this fall will instead be staying home due to Covid-19. Director, Danielle Grijalva of the Committee for Safety of Foreign Exchange Students says that may be a good thing.
“Too many parents are eager to send their son or daughter thousands of miles from home to live with complete strangers” says Grijalva. She went on to say, “Little time is spent researching the reputation of the placement agency here in America.”
Grijalva went on to explain that she firmly believes that the United States doesn’t have 30,000 host families to host exchange students. Students in the past have been placed in homes where there’s barely enough food to feed the host family let alone an exchange student. The exchange student ends up buying groceries for the family. If they complain, they will be sent back home.
As a result of America not being able to house 30,000 foreign exchange students, many of these student placement agencies will place these students just about anywhere and with anyone, even if they have a criminal background. Students end up sleeping on couches in musty garages, they are found by the dozen forced to sleep in sleeping bags in the basement of their area representative’s home. Students are crammed in tiny campers and motels forced to keep silent. If they complain, they are punished by being sent back home early in shame.
Grijalva was a former area representative with the Center for Cultural Interchange (CCI) currently known as Greenheart Exchange. It was then that she learned about the dark side of the student exchange industry. She resigned and later formed the 501(c)(3) non-profit Committee for Safety of Foreign Exchange Students headquartered in Imperial, CA.
Natural parents need to do their homework on the student placement agency that will sponsor their child here in America. Many of these student placement agencies are responsible for making headlines in the news for the mistreatment of former exchange students. Grijalva encourages natural parents to read the News page of the CSFES website at www.csfes.org. See just how often these agencies have made headlines outlining abuse and mistreatment of exchange students. “These agencies are designated sponsors of the United States Department of State. State still refuses to implement FBI based criminal fingerprint background checks on host families who host students for a semester or a full academic year” Grijalva said. This important child safety measure would drastically reduce the number of foreign exchange students that are placed in the homes of pedophiles and hosts with a criminal past.
Grijalva encourages parents that intend for their child to study abroad to simply do their homework and ask hard hitting questions before being so quick to write that check for $15,000 in program fees for their child to study abroad. Natural parents should ask their sending agency whether the sponsor in America performs full FBI criminal fingerprint background checks on their host families. If they do not, let this be a red flag. Do not send your teenage son or daughter abroad running the risk of their dream to study in America turning into their worst nightmare. /// nCa, 9 July 2020 (CSFES)