1. General Principle
o Attend an Irish Children’s Program Information Meeting is the first step to learn more about hosting a child from Belfast.
o Fill out an application form and sign an ICP contract. Also help your child to fill out a child information sheet. These forms are distributed at the Information Meetings.
o There are three meetings prior to the arrival of the Belfast children. These are: (1)the Introduction meeting, once you have been selected, (2) the match-up meeting, where you learn who your child is, and (3) the pre-arrival meeting giving last minute instructions and obligations. There is also a debriefing shortly after the departure, and a member of each host family is required to attend this meeting. Selected host families will get more details about these meetings later on.
o While the Belfast children are in Rochester, attend the mandatory opening and closing picnics and the teambuilding event (host and Belfast children only), and ensure that your host child attends a Belfast/chaperone event sometime in the middle of the stay. Obviously, you are also required to be present at the children’s arrival and departure from Rochester. Again we need to emphasize that these are mandatory events that the host families and Belfast child must attend.
o Attend as many optional events during the summer as you can. These events allow Belfast children to interact while in America. In the past, some of these events have included Red Wings and Rhinos games, bowling, roller skating, ice skating, miniature golf, an evening at the Sports Garden and a trip to the zoo. We encourage you to attend as many as you can. Remember one of our objectives is for the kids to build relationships with the other Belfast kids that they are traveling with.
o You are strongly encouraged to attend other ICP events: St. Patrick’s Day Parade and a benefit concert that is held in the Spring that will include a raffle and a silent auction.
o You are required to participate in the Carnation Sales fundraising. The Carnation committee will determine the number of time slots that you need to cover, but typically you will be asked to sign up for three to four 2 hour time slots.
o Host families must also provide auction items for the Silent Auction. The Silent Auction committee will determine the number of items and the dollar amount required, but typically it is any number of items with a total value of $150. The host families are encouraged to either make or get these items donated from local businesses in order to reduce their personal financial burden.
o Provide insurance coverage for the child while in your care. The cost for this coverage is approximately $45.00- $75.00. This covers any travel and/or medical needs.
o Your other financial obligations are associated with the support of your child while he or she is in your home. Obviously, there is the cost of food for the child. Other than meals, an exact amount is difficult to quantify, but imagine hosting a niece or nephew for five weeks. Host families often try to squeeze most of their normal summer activities into the five weeks of the visit. So your cost may depend on your family’s specific plans for the summer.
o There also may be some cost of attending the ICP events. The program makes every effort to provide free or reduced price tickets for the host child and Belfast child, but some will incur a nominal price (The ICP does acquires discount pricing wherever possible.