As noted in the COVID-19 FAQs and Resources page, the Department of State (DoS) has indicated that all required in-person contacts and in-home visits for the 2020/2021 cycle must still be done in-person. A video contact or visit will not suffice. If a liaison is uncomfortable or unable to conduct an in-person/in-home contact or visit, they should work with team leadership to identify an alternate volunteer to fulfill the requirement.
Other than what is required by the Department of State, we understand that in-person check-ins will likely happen less frequently than in previous cycles. Nevertheless, having the option for a student or host family member to be able to share concerns and experiences in person, and sometimes privately and outside the home, can be very effective at helping them feel more relaxed, at ease, and able to share openly with you. However, any in-person meetings must feel safe for both you and the person you are meeting with, and we must defer to any state, local, and CDC guidelines. This includes guidelines around distancing, gathering in public places and venues, and the use of personal protective gear.
We recommend identifying spaces in advance that could serve as safe places to meet with your student or a host family member when and if the need arises. This should include spaces in your community outside of the host family home where you would feel safe meeting with the student or host family in person. Public spaces that volunteers often use to check in privately with a student or a host family away from the home (such as cafes, restaurants, or malls) may be closed in your area, or your student or host family may have concerns about entering into those spaces. As a result, we recommend identifying public outdoor spaces, or spaces where social distancing is possible, that you can use as a safe space for in-person checking in. Consider differing weather conditions during the cycle, and the possibility that COVID-19-specific guidelines may change in your region during the cycle.
Places where I can meet with my student or host family member outside of the home:
|Backup option (2)||_________________________|
|Backup option (3)||_________________________|
Please reach out to your Support Coordinator, Support Specialist, or team chair if you need assistance identifying check-in spaces in advance.