Portsmouth/Hayling Link  

Frequently Asked Questions

What dates will the children be visiting? Our Link normally hosts children before the school summer holidays, usually during June.

How old are the children? The children we bring over to the Link are between 9 and 12 years of age. This is the time when their thyroid is developing and gives them the maximum benefit from their trip.

Do I have to be police checked? Yes, everyone who wants to host children must be C R B (Criminal Records Bureau) checked by us (CCLL). All persons in the household over the age of 16 must fill out a simple form and provide some ID. CCLL are only interested in previous convictions that give concerns over a child’s welfare, not for any minor incidents in your youth! We will do this with you.

Will I receive any recompense for hosting the children? No, but all costs of bringing the children to Portsmouth and Hayling Island are covered by the Link which also pays for trips during the children’s visit. Thus the host family provides bed and board. Anything else that you wish to buy for the children is at your own discretion.

Can we stipulate the gender of the children? Yes of course you can. The children must suit your family circumstances. 

Do I need a large house to host children? Absolutely not! All we ask is that you have a spare room that will accommodate two children comfortably for one month. It doesn�t matter if you don’t have lots of space as long as you have given some thought to the arrangement.

Will I have to be able to speak any Russian, Belarussian or Ukrainian? We don’t expect families to learn Russian, Belarussian or Ukrainian, but you may like to learn a few simple words and phrases. We provide a list of phrases that you and the children can refer to. If you have any difficulties, you will be able to contact the group leader. There are also web sites available that do on line translation. Some families find these useful.

Do the children speak English? This varies but on the whole they don’t. There is always a bi-lingual group leader available by phone at all times. Often families resort to miming, Russian/Ukrainian dictionaries and translation websites such as Babelfish or Google Translate. All this adds to the fun of hosting and gives much hilarity to the simplest of tasks!

What support will be available if I have a problem with the children? The group leader is a competent professional who is fluent in English. We also have designated Host Family Liaison Officers, and you will have contact details for other link members including the Chairperson. Occasionally the children do have problems (one or two may be lonely; others may take time to fit in, etc.). All such issues are best discussed with the group leader and Chairperson.

Do I have to entertain the children everyday? The Link organizes a large number of planned activities for the children during their stay. Most days the children are on group trips but we do include a couple of free days in the timetable when you can spend time with the children and your family. As we have found most families want to have some days with the children themselves away from the group.

What organised outings will there be? The short answer is: a lot! The Link meets the cost of these trips for the visiting children. If you bring your own children, (they are welcome) you will have to meet your and their costs. If you don’t go on the trips you will be free to do other things. All you need to do is transport them to a pick up point or to the venue itself (full details of all organised trips will be provided) and collect them at the end of the day.

How much free time will the host family have? The visiting children will have their programme of visits and play. This arrangement allows hosts to do their own thing or to take less time off work.

I am interested in the idea of hosting children but I cannot commit to a full month, can I still be involved? There are other roles and tasks you can be involved in within the group.

Are the children sick? The children are reasonably healthy but obviously not as strong as our own children. All children travelling to the UK have had medical clearance to travel.

Do the children get homesick? Yes they may and it varies from child to child. We find that letting them telephone home briefly each week soon solves the problem and they are back to their usual happy selves.

Can we host only 1 child? No, we find that the children settle much quicker into your family when they have another child in the same situation.

What do they eat? They will try most things as they have a limited variety at home, but as all Children they will have likes and dislikes.

When do they go to bed? As the itinery dictates but YOU are the adult and YOU make the decision, although we do ask that you remember they are on holiday.

I have a dog, is that a problem? Many of the children don’t have dogs as pets in their homes, and may well be wary about the dogs. However, we do find that the children come to love the pets as we do after a short time.

Do we have to provide a TV in their room? The short answer is No, you don’t. However we do find that they settle quicker at bedtime and it’s a luxury they won’t have at home. We can look into lending one if this is required.

If you have any questions about Hosting please get in contact, our email is: hosting.portsmouth@ccll.org.uk