COVID-19 BBSVC Response

We have never been more proud to be a part of the talented team at BBSVC & this supportive community. Over the past year, our agency has risen up against these challenges & developed innovative solutions.

What is BBSVC doing to support our community during COVID-19?

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ventura County is ensuring that our most vulnerable youth stay connected with their biggest advocates in this challenging time – their Bigs – while still respecting their health and the health of our wider community.

We are achieving this goal by making changes to the way that Bigs and Littles interact, as well as reinforcing the model that makes our 1-to-1 mentoring programs so successful. BBSVC leadership will continue to evaluate the COVID-19 situation on a daily basis update this page in response to COVID-19 and any other community emergencies.

What’s Changing & What’s Staying The Same

BBSVC will be respecting the state directive through the following opportunities:

  • The BBSVC team will continue to work remotely.
  • For the first time ever, Match Support Specialists have begun interviewing youth, families, and volunteers, and conducting training opportunities through videoconferencing platforms.
  • BBSVC will keep our network up to date on regular social media accounts – @bbsvc on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Here’s what’s staying the same:

  • This agency is guided by a purpose and a plan. Now, perhaps more than ever, the mission and impact of BBSVC are evident and urgent.
  • Our Match Support Specialist continue to serve as a hub for hundreds of youth, their families, and their mentors.
  • They’ll provide resources for those who may be affected by loss of income, lack of healthcare, and anxiety due to the uncertainties related to COVID-19.

Here’s what’s staying the same:

  • Know that your funds will be used responsibly as we continue to serve our program participants during this time of need.
  • If you have registered for an event or plan to, we’ll prioritize your safety, and we will keep you up to speed on the latest developments as they impact our calendar.

For our Mentors, Littles, and Families:

  • Matches need to discuss with their Match Support Specialist and each other – parents/guardians, youth, and mentors – to determine if and when they are comfortable to meet in-person. All parties must be comfortable and in agreement. Parents/Guardians should recognize that what may be comfortable and agreed upon for a mentor matched with one child may not be the same comfort level for a mentor matched with a second child in the same family.
  • If Bigs are transporting youth in their car:
    • masks MUST be worn
    • windows must be open (weather allowing)
    • Big and Little must be seated as far apart as possible.
  • We will provide resources for you, your Little, and their family as well as information to help both of you stay connected during this time of physical distancing.
    • We also have great activities available if you’d like to meet virtually for both Bigs & Littles that will require a parents approval and of course the right access.
    • Book Club – pick a book and both read a chapter each week. Discuss in a weekly phone call!
      • Take a virtual tour of a museum or a virtual tour of a national park.
      • Unleash your inner scientists & give these experiments a try; follow up w/ each other & compare results!
      • Bigs – make sure you are posting on Ventura County Bigs Hangout to share some of your own ideas.

In-person engagement is allowed on a case-by-case basis – we take this into consideration as we evaluate the importance of emotional health as well as physical health. BBSVC does encourage everyone to get the COVID-19 vaccine as they become eligible to receive it.

Conditions and restrictions may change at any time. At all times, we ask that everyone please respect any federal, state, county, local, or district restrictions that are in place, and contact your Match Support Specialist for guidance. Matches need to discuss with their Match Support Specialist and each other – parents/guardians, youth, and mentors – to determine if and when they are comfortable to meet in-person. All parties must be comfortable and in agreement.

Some immediate online resources include:

  • The Ventura County Emergency page includes a breakdown of the current state order
  • The Ventura County Office of Education page has a list of schools providing meals for youth
  • The U.S. Department of Labor webpage has a breakdown for how workers can prepare to respond to COVID-19 at work and when staying home
  • BBSVC has some helpful digital posters on how to practice healthy behaviors to avoid getting sick

We will also continue providing orientations and trainings, processing applications, and conducting background checks.Thank you for believing in Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ventura County and for believing in the youth we serve. And thank you for standing beside us for the last fifty years, and for standing beside us today as we face the challenges ahead.

With gratitude,
Lynne West
Chief Executive Officer