As Indiana continues to progress through its stages to safely re-open, BBBSCI has re-evaluated the COVID-19 guidelines we have in place. Starting, July 7, 2020, staff will begin to transition to work from our office building one day a week. For the health and safety of all stakeholders, our office building will remain closed to the public at this time.
Beginning July 6, 2020, we will modify restrictions on in-person meetings between Bigs and Littles while also maintaining certain guidelines. The health and safety of all of those involved are of the utmost importance, and each Big, Little, and Parent/Guardian must be comfortable in order for in-person visits to occur. We also ask that you assess your health before each outing and postpone any outing if you or anyone in your household is experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms.
We know this is a difficult time and understand that there are different comfort levels regarding in-person meetings. Please know that we completely support a decision to continue connecting virtually for the time being. If you do not feel comfortable meeting in-person, we request that this is clearly communicated to all match parties and ask you to stay consistent with your virtual meetings to stay connected. Please follow these guidelines should you decide to meet in-person. If your match started virtually, you must remain virtual for the first 90 days.
For Bigs, Littles, and Parents/Guardians who would like to conduct an in-person visit, we ask that you follow these guidelines for the time being:
• Decision to Meet – The Big, Little, and Parent/Guardian must all be comfortable seeing each other in-person. Regardless of the Little’s age, the visit must be approved by the Parent/Guardian ahead of time. If you are not comfortable with an in-person meeting right now, we completely support that decision and encourage you to continue connecting virtually.
• Location of Meeting – Visits should occur in a setting that accommodates social distancing measures. Outdoor activities are encouraged.
• Transportation – If there are no other transportation options to facilitate in-person meetings, Bigs are now permitted to transport Littles in their personal vehicle under the following conditions: a Parent/Guardian must give permission, the Little must sit in the back seat, masks must be worn by Bigs and Littles at all times, and hand sanitizer should be used before and after each ride. Avoid using the recirculated air option for the car’s ventilation during passenger transport; use the car’s vents to bring in fresh outside air and/or lower the vehicle windows. For more transportation tips, please visit the CDC website.
• Protective Measures – Anyone participating in the visit must wear a mask. If masks are needed, please contact your MRS. If anyone in the match does not currently have a mask, we ask that you wait to meet in-person until we can supply you with a mask. Anyone participating in the visit should adhere to social distancing guidelines and stay at least 6 feet apart. As always, please wash and sanitize hands before and after the visit.
• Health Screening – We believe it’s important to take protective measures and consider risks for everyone in both the Big’s and Little’s households. We do not recommend in-person visits if anyone living in either home:
~ is considered to be at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19;
~ works in healthcare and has an increased likelihood of exposure to COVID-19;
~ is experiencing any symptoms associated with COVID-19; and/or
~ has a fever, is sick with a cough or cold, or does not feel well for any reason.
Additionally, we are planning to resume small group match activities. These will be held outdoors, with a limited number of attendees to ensure social distancing. Please monitor our website, The Big App, and future emails for details.
As always, your Mentoring Relationship Specialist is available should you have any questions or concerns. We encourage you to make the best decisions for you and your family, stay informed, and continue to follow the Center for Disease Control’s recommendations for preventing the spread of illness.
BBBSCI will continue to monitor the evolving recommendations and guidelines related to COVID-19. Please stay tuned for ongoing updates and let us know if you have any questions.
Thank you and stay well,
Senior Director, Mentoring Relationships & Program Outcomes