Bridging the Generations
The Foster Grandparent Program is built upon the natural bond between the young and the old. It provides meaningful volunteer opportunities for low-income older persons. It serves a special group of children with exceptional and/or special needs. If you love to read to children, play games with children, or enjoy their company, you can be a volunteer Foster Grandparent.
How it works:
Eligibility and Benefits
Foster Grandparents must be at least 55 years old, low income, no longer in the regular workforce, and capable of serving children with exceptional or special needs. FGP volunteers receive a modest tax-free stipend to cover the cost of volunteering– transportation and meal assistance, accident and liability insurance, and an annual physical exam. Paid vacation, personal and sick leave is accrued on a monthly basis. Annual social trips are planned each year for all volunteers.
Service and Recognition
Volunteers receive 40 hours of pre-service orientation and training throughout the year. They are assigned to children on a one-to-one basis or small groups under the supervision of a teacher. They volunteer between 15-30 hours a week at local volunteer stations such as hospitals, public schools, day care centers, Head Start programs, and rehabilitation centers. For their service to the community, they are recognized annually at a formal recognition banquet.
Sponsorship and Support
The Foster Grandparent Program is funded by the Corporation for National and Community Service and The Executive Office of Elder Affairs. Only public agencies and private non-profit organization are eligible to apply for FGP projects. Project sponsorship for the program locally is by Coastline Elderly Services, Inc., which serves the towns of Acushnet, Dartmouth, Fairhaven, Gosnold, Mattapoisett, Marion, New Bedford and Rochester. In addition to serving the Greater New Bedford area, the Foster Grandparent Program has sites in Plymouth and Wareham.
Community support is crucial to the success of local projects. Ten percent of project costs come from local funding sources, but most sponsors contribute more. The Corporation provides sponsors with training, technical assistance and program oversight.
Each project is assisted by an independent Advisory Council which supports and evaluates the project’s overall operation effectiveness. The Advisory Council is composed of community business and labor leaders, social service agency professionals, specialists on aging, child development and voluntarism, as well as Foster Grandparent volunteers.
For additional information, please contact us at (508)999-6400 or Information@CoastlineElderly.org