Prospective Host Family FAQ
Several factors are considered when finding the right placement for a player and his potential host family. The host family application process is designed for Austin FC Academy Staff to determine the best fit for both player and family. An initial application could lead to an in-person, at home interview during which the host family and Austin FC Academy Staff would have the opportunity to get to know each other, ask questions, and discuss pertinent topics from logistics to living arrangements. Upon determining a match between player and host family, Austin FC Academy staff will facilitate an initial introduction between the player, his immediate family and host family to ensure overall fit and comfort. Following this initial introduction, Austin FC Academy staff will ask for feedback from all involved and proceed based off that feedback.
There will be an initial 30-day assessment to confirm the arrangement between the player and host family are meeting the needs of all parties. Austin FC Academy Staff will then follow up with a 90-day assessment. At the conclusion of the 90-day assessment, Austin FC Academy considers the initial assessment period completed. From this point forward, Austin FC Academy Staff will conduct monthly check-ins via in-person visits to the host family and/or phone calls between Academy Staff, the host family, and host player. Everyone is encouraged to offer feedback during these check-ins. Each player receives an Academy break in December and July. By April 1st of each year, Austin FC Academy and the family will decide whether to extend the relationship between the player and host family for another year or whether to make changes.
Any person 18 or over who lists the host family’s home as his/her permanent address, regardless of the amount of time that he/she currently spends in the home, and any individual spending significant or unsupervised time with the host player must go through a background check. This includes college students who are home for school breaks, as well as household members who live with the host family part-time. Each individual must submit a separate background check authorization..
Host families commit to providing a family away from home for the player they host. Between a player’s academic and Austin FC Academy programs, he will engage in a rigorous and challenging schedule, meaning a host family will be vital to his support and well-being. In doing so, a host family will help an individual reach his full holistic and sporting potential.
Austin FC Academy players are both elite athletes and outstanding young men who will be great role models for their host brothers and sisters. Each has been hand-selected because he has exhibited elite talent and a desire to commit himself to the values and excellence of Austin FC and Austin FC Academy.
Each host family will receive a monthly stipend for each player it hosts, as hosting a player elicits the same food, gas and utility expenses that arise in caring for any teenager or young adult. The stipend is not intended to cover all associated expenses, but rather to support the host family in providing a home away from home to each player. It should be noted that host families are not responsible for the player's medical, academic, or other incidental expenses. The homestay family will receive a monthly stipend for the 10 month Academy season, excluding the months of July and December where homestay players will likely travel home for the holidays and off-season.
Prospective Players FAQ
The Austin FC Homestay Program does not have an age requirement. We select individuals of high soccer potential who embody the values of Austin FC and Austin FC Academy.
The Homestay Program is intended for high-potential players through invitation only. Our program uses a rolling admission process as every player’s situation is unique. A few determining factors could include, but are not limited to, school deadlines, the academic calendar and the academy registration window.
The MLS Academy season spans a 10-month period, from August to June/July, depending on how far the player’s team advances in competition. A player participating in the program will stay with their host family for the duration of their season and school year. Please refer to the “Timeline” for further details.
Transportation to and from school, training and matches, will be coordinated by the host family. Players should not accept rides from anyone outside of the host family, unless prior arrangements have been authorized by the immediate family, host family, and Austin FC Academy Staff. If the player has a car and prior approval from the immediate family, host family, and Austin FC Academy staff, he may drive to and from school, training, matches and team/family functions.
Each player’s immediate family is responsible for providing money for any extra-curricular activities such as dinning out, clothes shopping, going to the movies, etc.
Because Austin FC Academy expects relationships between host families and host players to be true family relationships, Academy Staff expects host players to join host families on family vacations or other travel during the course of the MLS Academy season. This travel with host families will be contingent on the player’s academic and soccer schedules. In preparation for situations where a host player is unable to travel with the host family due to scheduling conflicts, Austin FC Academy Staff has compiled a network of “standby” host families. Any host player who cannot travel with his host family will stay with a standby host family for the duration of his host family’s travel. Standby host families have gone through the same application/interview process as host families and will support host players in the same, familial manner of an immediate host family. Austin FC Academy asks that host families make every effort to inform Austin FC of travel plans 1 month prior to the date of departure in order to provide Academy Staff the time to make logistical arrangements with standby host families, if needed.
Because Austin FC Academy hopes relationships between host families and host players will be true family relationships, Academy Staff expects players to make every effort to join his host family for family functions, when able and appropriate.
Dependent on the immediate family’s ability to travel to Austin, we anticipate that the immediate family will, on occasion, come to Austin and visit their son. In this case, the immediate family is expected to get a hotel and the player will be given permission to spend the weekend with their immediate family.