How to find your Guardian

How do you find a guardian? You can start by asking family and friends or in your own country who may have used one before. If they have had a good experience with a particular guardianship firm, there is a good chance you will too.

If you don’t know anyone who has used a guardianship service before, you can ask the school your child will be attending. They will be aware of the companies that have supplied guardians for their pupils in the past and may be able to recommend ones with which they have a good relationship. Schools that have a lot of experience with guardians may also know of the smaller, more local (and perhaps less expensive) firms which may be more suitable to your needs.

Many schools will point you towards one of two accredited associations of guardians. The largest of these is the Association for the Education and Guardianship of International Students (AEGIS). Aegis members are vetted and insured and all their host families are carefully checked.

There are, of course, alternatives to using a professional guardianship agency, The first choice for most families when possible is to house their children with British relatives. The benefits are that it is cheap and the guardian will have a genuine interest in the welfare of the child. The child may also prefer to live with family and familiar people. Having comfort in the knowledge that family is not too far away can allow them to focus better on their studies and school life. Occasionally, schools will not accept relatives as guardians if they live too far away from the school.

If you do decide to house your child wth host families, you will need to find out how carefully the families have been checked and whether there is any back-up from the school if the family can no longer fulfil its role. You should also ask for references on the families (ideally from pupils who have previously lodged with them) and check them rigorously. Ideally you will want to meet the family your child will be staying with. If that is impossible however, you may be able to contact them via telephone or email. Ultimately you will want to find a family that both you and, more importantly, your child will be happy with during their stay in the UK.