Background Check

Greetings to all – (this is information from our Corporate Office in New Jersey)

Thank you for making the ELS Homestay experience a success for our students. We appreciate your efforts to better serve our students and their families. In 2013, ELS is further committing to the quality of our homestay programs by introducing host family background checks.

Effective beginning July 15, 2013, all host families with ELS students in their homes must have completed the background check process for all adults, 18 years of age or older, who reside in the home.  All background checks must be renewed every 3 years.  If any question arises from the background check, you will be contacted by the ELS corporate office. If you choose not to undergo a background check, ELS will no longer be able to place students in your home, and any ELS student in your care will be moved to different housing.  Please know that this process is confidential and managed at the ELS corporate office – no one at the center will know any details from any report.

ELS has contracted with Sterling, a consumer reporting agency, to conduct the checks. Before any information is collected through Sterling’s secure web site, you will have the opportunity to learn more about your right under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (note: ELS is NOT conducting credit checks) and the privacy and security of the information you provide.

Remember, each household member 18 years of age or older is required to submit an individual background check. You will be asked to provide your name, address, Social Security Number and date of birth, as well as an electronic signature for the consent form. In order to successfully submit the info, families will have to complete the form and provide an electronic signature. At the end of the form, families will have to select My Signature to make the submission. By clicking “Print Page”, families will be able to print the info entered, but the data entered will not be submitted into the Sterling system unless the “My Signature” button is clicked. After clicking the “My Signature” button, families will be asked for the payment information. Once  they enter the payment information families will have to click the submit button.

The price of each background check is $35. You may pay by credit card (see credit card authorization under “For Families” on my blog).

Click here to begin your background check.

*No background checks will be completed until payment has been received.

If you have any questions or difficulties submitting information please contact Sterling directly at 888-889-5248 or – or give me a call and I will try to help you.

As always, thank you for your continued support of the ELS Homestay Program and to the ELS students you have so generously welcomed into your homes.

ELS considers an individual to be residing in the home when the individual will be present in the home for any amount of time per day, such that the cumulative “days” would be one week or greater in any four-week session.

A note from Denny:

The purpose of this new policy of background checks is designed to align with the regulatory guidelines provided by the U.S. Department of State regarding High School Exchange Programs for International Students. ELS already requires all of it’s employees to undergo a background check, and we are now extending that policy to our host families.  Background checks are becoming necessary in all walks of life including workers in schools, churches, daycare and many other organizations.  This new policy will provide one more benefit to our students, in the assurances of the quality of our participating homes.

We have been asked by a few of our Homestays in the past if our students undergo any kind of background checks. Just to let you know, our students must go through a visa interview process with the U.S. Department of State. This process is conducted in the students’ country and involves a review of their documentation, background and admissibility, along with a face-to-face interview.

I’m so grateful to each and everyone of you! You are doing a wonderful job of providing for our International Students – Thank you!




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