Updated COVID-19 Guidelines for Matches

Note from Our Clinical Program Director: Match Outing Guidelines for Spring 2021 as of May 13, 2021
Dear JBBBS Volunteers,

Since Fall of 2020, JBBBS has issued Covid guidelines for matches reflecting guidance from the State of MA and the scientific community. These guidelines acknowledged the priorities of both physical and mental health, as well as the reality that families and individuals would have differing levels of comfort with various match activities and potential exposure to COVID. Some of our matches have been fully virtual for over a year now. Other matches have been meeting in person since last summer with guidance from our Clinical Match Specialists and in communication with all parties involved in a match.

At JBBBS, communication and transparency has always been a core value, especially during these uncharted times. We realize that what works and is comfortable for one match may not work for another. What is of the highest importance is openness and transparency about these needs within the match and with the agency.

As society continues to open up even further, our guiding value of communication remains the same. Perhaps both you and your Friend or Little are both vaccinated now and want to ride in a car together or spend time outdoors unmasked. If all parties in a match (including Guardians) are supportive, share the plan with your CMS in an email or during match support. Perhaps you’re not sure if it’s a great idea to attend a Red Sox game or go to the movies, especially if your Little isn’t eligible for a vaccination yet. Again, reach out to your CMS to weigh the risks and rewards and to confirm that all parties are in agreement. 

Finally, while many opportunities for relationship building have been revealed with the increased use of video chats and online communication tools, JBBBS stands by the inherent value of face to face, in person connection. For many of our folks, the transition back into school, work and group activities will not be an easy one. And they will rely on you, our volunteers, to help support them through this next transition. If you’re not yet meeting in person with your Little or Friend, now is the time to start planning for the transition back to in person match meetings. If you have extenuating circumstances or concerns about this directive, please be in touch with your CMS.

-   Laura Shulman Brochstein, MA, LCSW (Clinical Program Director) 

Click here for activity ideas and COVID-19 resources for volunteer