Dear Bigs and Families:
We have been inspired by all that you are doing to stay connected to your Match as we navigate these unprecedented times.
Although many of you have found ways to meet virtually, we recognize that as restrictions are loosening across New York’s Capital Region, many Matches are looking forward to meeting in person.
Effective June 8, 2020, if all parties agree they are comfortable, BBBSCR will allow in-person meetings, provided they follow the recommended guidelines listed below. Also see the document attached below with helpful information. Please note: if your Match was made virtually during the pandemic, there are a few additional steps needed before you are allowed to get together in person. Our enrollment team is in the process of reaching out to those parties.
Please note that BBBSCR is not requiring matches to meet in person and 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. This in no way will impact the status of your Match —we just ask you to stay consistent with your virtual meetings to stay connected.
Before you consider meeting in person, we recommend the following:
- Check in with your Big/Little/Little’s Family to ensure all parties approve of the meeting. If anyone is uncomfortable with in-person activities, we ask that you continue with virtual hang-outs instead of in-person.
- If any member of the Match (or family members of Bigs/Littles) is at heightened risk from the coronavirus, we ask that you do not meet in person at this time and continue with virtual meetings instead. Heightened risk factors include advanced age, high blood pressure, chronic respiratory illness, diabetes, obesity, and compromised immune systems. The CDC has further guidance at cdc.gov.
- If any party is ill or lives in a home where a relative or roommate has been ill, we require that you wait for at least two weeks before considering an in-person outing.
- If any party has traveled outside of the Capital Region in the last 14 days, we require that you wait for at least two weeks before considering an in-person outing.
If all parties determine an in-person meeting is acceptable, please follow these guidelines:
- Initiate a conversation with your Big/Little/Little’s Family to discuss specific restrictions. We ask that you be respectful of each party’s boundaries. Your Match Support Specialist can help with these conversations if needed.
- Take your temperature prior to the outing to ensure you are not running a fever of 100.4 or higher.
- Follow social distancing guidelines.
- As a result of the CDC’s recommendation to maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet, at this time, Bigs and Littles riding in the same car is not allowed. We encourage you to meet at your Littles’ home OR, if you plan to visit a public place, like a park, we ask that you meet there. Our Match Support Specialists are working on a list of activity ideas that will work for social distancing, you’ll receive that soon.
When planning an in-person meeting, please consider the following:
- We require Bigs and Littles to wear a mask when doing in-person meetings.
- Consider uncrowded outdoor activities.
- Avoid large crowds —see your county’s recommendations on crowd size.
- Avoid all physical contact; please do not shake hands, high five, or hug.
- Wash your hands and bring hand sanitizer with you.
- Use the restroom prior to your meeting, and if possible, avoid public restrooms.
- Stay local and keep outings to a reasonable length. We recommend 1-2 hours.
Please understand, while BBBSCR is providing the above guidance in relation to in-person visits, the final decision resides with the Big, Little, and family’s preference and comfort level. While we are just as ready as you are to get back to normal life, the health of our Bigs, Littles, and families is of utmost importance.
READ MORE about our revised policies by downloading the document below. Please reach out to your Match Support Specialist with any additional questions.