Foster Grandparent Program (FGP)
Who Are Foster Grandparents?
Foster Grandparents are income-eligible seniors, age 55 or older, who volunteer about 20 hours per week at schools, day care centers, Head Start sites and summer programs throughout Broome County.
What Do Foster Grandparents Do?
Foster Grandparents provide the love, support and extra attention 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:
- An hourly stipend
- Reimbursement for travel costs
- A meal at their volunteer site
- Paid time off
- An annual physical examination
- Paid orientation and on-going training
- The opportunity to socialize with other Foster Grandparents
Note: the stipend (pay) is non-taxable, non-reportable income that does not affect eligibility for other programs and services.
What is the Purpose of the Foster Grandparent Program?
The Foster Grandparent Program is designed to:
- Assist children with special needs who need additional help to succeed. 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.
- Make it possible for low-income seniors 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?
The Foster Grandparent Program is a national program originally created in 1965. Broome County has operated the local Foster Grandparent Program since 1972. The program promotes public awareness of the value of volunteer service and highlights the tremendous contribution older persons can make in solving community problems.
For more information, call 607-778-2089.
Funds provided by the Corporation for National and Community Service, New York State Office for Aging, and Broome County Office for Aging.
Photos courtesy of CNCS Photo Office
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.