Recommendation: Pause All In-Person Mentoring

November 13, 2020 COVID-19, MENTOR Vermont

Hello Vermont youth mentoring practitioners,

In response to Governor Scott’s Amended Executive Order today (November 13)MENTOR Vermont strongly recommends that all youth mentoring programs in Vermont pause all in-person mentoring until further notice and mentor matches focus on staying connected remotely.

While the Order itself is focused on banning social gatherings between different households, Governor Scott clarified what this means for smaller social interactions, including one-on-one meetings, during the Q & A portion of the press conference (about one hour and 25 minutes into the press conference).

In Governor Scott’s words, “This isn’t stay home, stay safe. This is about socially separating in some respects. Unless it is in your current household you shouldn’t interact with anyone. You shouldn’t interact with your neighbor. You shouldn’t get together for horseshoes and having a beer or a coffee or anything like that…You can go out for a walk but you can’t go out for a walk with your neighbor. You can still go out to get groceries and do what you need to do but you can’t interact with people outside of your household.”

We realize that these new restrictions may be upsetting to mentors and most importantly to the young people who will temporarily have to go back to only being able to connect with their mentor remotely. While no one knows when restrictions will be lifted, this is only a temporary measure, and once the spread of the virus is back under control, matches will be able to meet again in person. If you need help with talking to mentees about this news and/or supporting matches who are meeting remotely, we encourage you to visit our COVID-19 Resources page or reach out to me directly at [email protected]. We also recently created a guidance document “Considerations for Mentoring During the Pandemic” that outlines key considerations your program should be making for both in-person and remote mentoring, and based on various levels of what is allowed by the public health guidelines. The silver lining with this current situation is that all of us have done this before. We know you have strong systems in place to help support remote mentoring, and we will continue to do everything we can to support you. It is our hope that we all can use the VT Mentoring Hub to continue to share resources around remote mentoring with one another. You can view a recent post about just this here.

If you are interested in learning more about the other implications of Governor Scott’s Executive Order, we encourage you to read this article from VTDigger.
Thank you for everything you do to support youth mentoring in your community and throughout the state.