Definition of abusive behaviour

Abuse, may be defined as ‘the wilful, conscious desire to hurt, threaten, upset or frighten another person including any conduct that is unwanted by the recipient, is considered objectionable and/or could cause humiliation, offence, distress or any other detrimental effect.’

The following forms of abusive behaviour will not be tolerated:

  • Aggression
  • Frightening
  • Racial abuse
  • Excluding
  • Gender abuse
  • Name Calling
  • Threats
  • Physical violence
  • Stealing
  • Teasing
  • Humiliating
  • Damaging property
  • Sexual harassment
  • Swearing
  • Religious Belief

Harassment may be an isolated occurrence or repetitive. It may target one or more individuals. Harassment may be, but is not limited to:

  • Physical contact – ranging from touching to serious assault, gestures, intimidation, aggressive behaviour.
  • Verbal – unwelcome remarks, suggestions and propositions, malicious gossip, jokes and banter, offensive language.
  • Non-verbal – offensive literature or pictures, graffiti and computer imagery, isolation or non-co-operation and exclusion or isolation from social activities.

Bullying is unlikely to be a single or isolated instance. It is usually, but not exclusively repeated and persistent behaviour that is offensive, abusive, intimidating, malicious or insulting. Bullying includes but is not limited to:

  • Conduct which is intimidating, physically abusive or threatening
  • Conduct that ridicules or humiliates an individual
  • Picking on one person when there is a common problem
  • Shouting at an individual to get things done
  • Consistently undermining someone and their abilities
  • “cyber bullying” i.e. bullying via e-mail / social networks
  • Setting an individual up to fail e.g. by giving inadequate instructions

Statement of Policy

The welfare of both student and host is paramount, especially in the case of under 18 year olds. Our main aim is to foster an atmosphere where abusive behaviour towards any other person(s) is not tolerated and is seen to be inappropriate and wrong.

The HOST is committed to fostering and maintain good relations within their homes and to encourage students to give their best. Everyone in the household, as well as those who have dealings with the student(s), have a responsibility to maintain a good relationship and not use words or deeds that may harm the wellbeing of the student. They are responsible for being open to listening to the student in the event of there being concerns regarding a third party (i.e. student from the same school but not in their home) and for reporting such concerns to Perfect Host Homestay Ltd so as to ensure that the school/agent is aware of the matter and can deal with it immediately.

STUDENTS are also committed to maintaining good relations within their homestay. They have an obligation to respect the property and to show politeness to all members of the household and other students within the home.

In addition to the obligations placed upon both the host and the student by the Equality and Human Rights legislation, everyone has the right to be treated with consideration, fairness, dignity and respect. This contributes to a home environment in which individuals feel safe and can work effectively, competently and confidently.

Key Principles

The host will provide and sustain a safe environment in which everyone is treated fairly and with respect. Those working or dealing with the student and the students themselves, must not encounter harassment, intimidation or victimisation on the basis of gender, race, colour, ethnic or national origin, sexual orientation, marital status, religion or belief, age, disability or any other personal characteristic.

Everyone carries a personal responsibility for his or her own behaviour and for ensuring that their conduct is in accordance with the principles set out in this policy. In addition, people have a duty to report any instance of bullying or harassment, which they witness or which comes to their attention. Hosts have a duty to act as role models, pro-actively addressing instances of bullying and harassment. PERFECT HOST HOMESTAY LTD will also make themselves aware of their responsibility.

Any student/host who wishes to make a complaint of harassment or bullying is encouraged to first discuss matters informally with THEIR SCHOOL / PERFECT HOST HOMESTAY LTD. Should the issues not be resolved at this stage or the student feels unable to raise the issue informally, then a formal resolution should be sought.

If it is considered that one of the parties concerned in harassment or bullying case should be moved from their current homestay, then as a matter of principle PERFECT HOST HOMESTAY LTD will normally remove all students. It should be noted and explained to those concerned that the moving of student(s) is not an implication of guilt or culpability and no detriment to either party will be construed as a consequence.

All matters relating to complaint of harassment or bullying will be treated in strict confidence. Any breach of confidentiality in this regard may render those responsible liable to disciplinary action. However, it will be necessary that any alleged perpetrator be made aware of the allegations against them and the name(s) of those making the allegations together with the name(s) of any witnesses.

All complaints of harassment or bullying which arise formally or informally must be notified by the recipient of the complaint to Perfect Host Homestay Ltd for recording and monitoring.

This policy and procedure will be reviewed periodically.

Action

The course of action will be jointly determined between the member of staff who has taken the complaint and the school the student is attending.
Both parties will be spoken to in confidence, taking the ‘no-blame’ approach as appropriate, until all information is collected. A senior member of staff from Perfect Host Homestay Ltd will be made aware of any complaint connected with bullying and harassment in order to oversee the progress and outcome.

All cases will be documented and should include confirmation of the allegations, the response from both parties, the action taken and the outcome.

In the case where a student has spoken with the host with regards to a concern at school, it is the duty of the host to inform Perfect Host Homestay Ltd who will inform the school, who will then follow the school’s own policy, action and record keeping.
Perfect Host Homestay Ltd will endeavour to be informed of the outcome of the investigation from the school and to provide feedback to the host.

No student or host will be victimised or suffer detriment for making a complaint of harassment or bullying. Such complaints will be treated seriously and misconduct, if proven, will result in removal from our homestay / database.

PROCEDURE

  1. Informal Resolution
    1. Very often people are not aware that their behaviour is unwelcome or misunderstood and an informal discussion can lead to greater understanding and agreement that the behaviour will cease.
    2. Complainants are therefore encouraged to try, if they feel able to do so, to resolve the problem informally by making it clear to the HOST/STUDENT that their actions are unwanted and should not be repeated. This may be done verbally or in writing in which case the complainant should keep a copy of the documentation and, where possible, the times and dates of incidents should be recorded.
    3. If the complainant feels unable to approach the person in question, PERFECT HOST HOMESTAY LTD should be asked to speak to them on behalf of the complainant. A note should be made of the action taken.
    4. An individual who is made aware that their behaviour is unacceptable should:-
      • Listen carefully to the complaints and the particular concerns raised;
      • Respect the other person’s point of view: everyone has a right to live in an environment free from harassment/intimidation;
      • Understand and acknowledge that it is the other person’s reaction/perception to another’s behaviour that is important;
      • Agree the aspects of behaviour that will change;
      • Review their general conduct/behaviour
  2. Formal Resolution
    1. If the alleged harassment continues, the student/host feels unable or unwilling to deal with the matter informally, or the allegation is so serious as to prevent use of the informal procedure, a complaint should then be raised formally with PERFECT HOST HOMESTAY LTD.
    2. The individual should submit the complaint in writing directly to PERFECT HOST HOMESTAY LTD who, with other parties involved, will arrange for the matter to be followed-up in accordance with this policy and procedure.
    3. When dealing with a complaint of harassment under the Formal Resolution Procedure, PERFECT HOST HOMESTAY LTD should:
      • Take full details of the incidents in writing from the student/host and their representative (if appropriate);
      • Take full details from any witnesses/other complainants who come forward and may have witnessed the alleged behaviour
      • Inform the individual of the complaints against them, advising to comment on the allegations against them.
      • Keep all parties informed of expected timescales.
      • Inform all parties in writing of the outcome and any action that may be required.

Last updated September 2015