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Youth Exchange Sponsors May Get Tighter Rules

WASHINGTON (CN) - In the wake of news reports of nubile exchange students being placed with hosts with criminal records, withheld nutrition and placed in housing that was later condemned, the U.S. State Department is planning changes in the screening of host families.

An October inspector general's report called for better oversight of student exchange programs receiving U.S. State Department grants. And now the department has proposed amendments which it says provide better clarity and specificity to exchange program sponsors

The inspector general found that the State Department relied on youth placement groups "to self-monitor."

In the wake of news reports of exchange students allegedly being mistreated, abandoned, withheld nutrition, and placed in housing that was later condemned or with a host that has a criminal record, the agency plans to make changes in "the screening, selection, school enrollment, orientation and monitoring of overall quality assurance on behalf of student participants; and the screening, selection, orientation and quality assurance monitoring of host families."

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