Foster Grandparent Program (FGP)

Would you like to be a classroom volunteer and get paid?

If you are age 55 or over and have at least 5 hours a week to volunteer, consider going back to school as a “grandparent.”  The Office for Aging’s Foster Grandparents volunteer in general classrooms to work one-on-one with children in elementary schools, Head Starts, day care centers and middle schools across Broome County.  The grandparents are making a difference by providing love and encouragement.  They share in classroom activities such as reading books together, practicing the alphabet and solving math problems.

There is no income requirement to join and no prior experience in a classroom is needed!  However, if you are income-eligible, you could receive a stipend of $2.65 for each hour that you volunteer, plus travel reimbursement and a free lunch at school each day.  Call the Foster Grandparent Program today at 607.778.2089 to find out more about how you can enroll!

What Do Classroom Volunteers Do?

The Grandparents provide the love, support and extra attention that some children need to succeed.  They work directly with children: talking, listening, reading stories and helping with academic work. The activities they engage in depend on the ages of the children and their needs. Some Foster Grandparents feed and rock infants. Others work with older children, reinforcing lessons taught by teachers and acting as a role model of appropriate behavior.

What Are the Benefits?

Foster Grandparents receive:

  • Stipend of $2.65 per hour (for income-eligible volunteers only)

  • Reimbursement for travel costs

  • A meal at their volunteer site

  • Paid time off (up to a predefined amount each year)

  • An annual physical examination

  • Paid orientation and on-going training

  • The opportunity to socialize with other Foster Grandparents

  • The opportunity to make a difference in our community

How does the stipend work?

If you are income-eligible, you will receive a stipend of $2.65 for each hour that you volunteer, plus travel reimbursement and a free lunch at school each day. 

By law, the stipend you receive is not taxable and it cannot affect any other benefits you get.  For example, it cannot be part of the calculations of your income for public housing or food stamps.  It cannot be included in determining if you are eligible for HEAP or benefits from the Veterans Administration. 

What is the Purpose of the Foster Grandparent Program?

The Foster Grandparent Program assists children with special needs who need additional help to succeed in the classroom.  The program works by matching these children with a caring volunteer, the Foster Grandparent, who works with them to reach goals set by the children's teachers. The program also makes it possible for low-income older adults to make a meaningful contribution to their community by providing the economic support they need to volunteer.

Why Be a Foster Grandparent?

Because it's an opportunity to do truly rewarding work. As one Foster Grandparent recently said:

“Initially I was interested because I needed to supplement my income, but after I started I fell in love with the children. I feel loved, appreciated, needed, and missed when I'm not there. I feel I have the opportunity to give love and approval to children who really need it.”

What Else Should I Know?

All applicants to the Foster Grandparent Program must complete criminal history background checks, including: FBI fingerprinting, Sex Offender Registry check, and NY State Unified Court System check.  There is no cost to the applicant for these checks.

For more information, call 607.778.2089.


Foster Grandparents Brochure

Find out more about Foster Grandparent Programs across the nation: CNCS Senior Service Corps

Find out about other volunteer opportunities with the Office for Aging or in the community.