Thank you for your commitment to your match during these unprecedented times. BBBS of NYC is committed to guiding our Bigs, Littles and their families to ensure everyone’s safety. At this moment, we would like to inform you that:
- In-person outings between Bigs and Littles can resume within provided guidelines (see below).
- Virtual Outings are still encouraged
Note: These guidelines DO NOT apply to a match that was made virtually. Matches made virtually will NOT meet in person in the community. Instead, matches will connect virtually. Please wait for further instructions regarding in-person outings if the match was made virtually.
For Bigs, Littles, and Parents/Guardians who decide to resume in-person outings, the following guidelines must be followed:
- Health Considerations: Following CDC guidelines, we do not recommend in-person outings, if anyone living in either home:
- has a fever, is sick with a cough or cold, or does not feel well for any reason
- is considered to be at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19
- Please exercise increased caution if anyone in either household works in healthcare or has an increased likelihood of exposure to COVID-19
- Decision to Meet
- In-person outings are NOT required at this time.
- Big, Little, and Parent/Guardian must ALL be comfortable to resume in-person outings.
- If anyone is not comfortable with in-person outings, continue connecting virtually.
- Protective Measures
- All parties involved MUST wear a mask.
- All outing participants should adhere to social distancing guidelines and stay at least 6 feet apart.
- Please wash and sanitize hands before, during (as needed) and after the outing. Visit the CDC website and learn how to protect yourself.
- Choosing Activities/Location of Outings
- Outings should occur in locations that allow for social distancing (outdoors, large, open spaces)
- Regardless of the Little’s age, the outing MUST be approved by the Parent/Guardian ahead of time.
- Always consult with your Program Manager to review the most updated list of Prohibited Activities and receive guidance navigating this matter.
- Day and overnight visits in the volunteer’s home are NOT permitted.
- This includes the home of volunteer’s relatives and friends.
- The policies regarding these visits are in place to protect the interests of the child, family and volunteer and are rooted in best practices for youth mentoring.
- Outings in the Little’s home are NOT recommended.
- If dropping off materials for an outing activity such as arts and crafts, remember to always practice social distance, wear masks, and stay outside of the Little's home.
- Limit the use of public transportation.
- If the distance between residences and locations are relatively close, the use of bikes and/or walking is highly encouraged.
- Parent/Guardian can transport a Little to meet a Big.
- BBBS of NYC does not encourage Bigs to drive their Littles on match outings.
- Bigs must get clearance and approval from their Program Manager AND their Littles’ parent/guardian beforehand if they plan to drive their Littles on any occasion.
- Bigs must provide BBBS of NYC with a copy of their current driver's license and valid proof of car insurance prior to an outing.
We know this is a difficult time and understand that there are different comfort levels regarding in-person outings. Our team continues to develop ideas, suggestions, and resources for interactive, meaningful, and creative virtual ideas/outings, easily accessible on our website.
Please visit the New York website for updates and guidelines to stay informed as the city takes its course to re-open. In addition, continue to utilize resources such as the Center for Disease Control website and NYC Health website to follow recommendations for preventing the spread of illness and to stay healthy.
As always, connect with your Program Manager to ensure you are accessing the necessary information and guidance to help you stay connected while practicing social distancing and ensuring everyone’s safety. Thank you for igniting the potential of NYC youth and do not hesitate to contact us for any questions, comments, or concerns.
MARIA LOJA-BARAHONA, MSW
Vice President, Community Based Programs and Child Safety
Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York City