Social Distancing & Mentoring
Dear Valuable Community Member,
As an organization that values human connection, mentorship, check-ins, and encouragement, we are reflecting deeply on what social distancing, school-closures, and sudden changes in plans mean for our mentoring programs in our community.
In addition to monitoring updates from the government and health experts, we are committed to maintaining the strength and health of each of our one-on-one mentoring matches.
While our physical and geographical movements have been restricted, we encourage each of our mentors to continue checking in on their mentees through text, video-call, and email. While many of us can feel disconnected, it is important to remember your value as a mentor, friend, and community member.
Tips for Maintaining your Mentoring Connections
Below are some resources shared with us by our partner organization: Mentor, Independence Region that could be useful during this time.
We are always here for you so, please email or call Don directly at Info@doncaresphila.org or 717-706-7345 to obtain or share information regarding your mentoring efforts.
Be mindful. As the COVID-19 pandemic spreads, it may trigger trauma for young people impacted by the virus or by the news surrounding the pandemic. Let your mentee know that you see them and are there for them.
Be intentional about preserving continuity in the relationship.
Acknowledge what is going on and engage in a dialogue about the pandemic.
Understand and honor your emotions and the emotions of your mentee, including the range of reactions that may be expressed.
Commit to self-care. Know that it is okay to take a break from the news and discussions about the virus as needed to manage anxiety or other responses to the situation.
Be in it together. Let your mentee know that you are in this together and are here to help.
Follow the latest on COVID-19 on the CDC’s website.
Follow the guidelines of your mentoring program, institution, or the guardians of your mentee around how to connect and communicate virtually with your mentee if in-person connections are suspended. Decide on clear boundaries and agreements about how you will connect with your mentee when meeting in-person and continue to follow the latest health guidelines and recommendations about where and how to gather.
Be communicative. Healthy and supportive relationships are crucial during this time.
If you are permitted/able to communicate virtually with your mentee, let your mentee know you need to temporarily pause seeing them in person but are still there for them virtually. Create a plan with your mentee about how you will stay in touch while continuing to follow the appropriate guidelines.
If you are not permitted/able to communicate virtually, work with the program to figure out a way to pass along information to let your mentee know that you care, value the relationship, and will need to temporarily pause in-person meetings. Health and safety are the primary focuses at this time.