A rewarding senior volunteer opportunity

The Foster Grandparents program is a win-win situation. The senior volunteer wins a rewarding experience helping an at-risk child. The child wins the care and attention that is often desperately needed. If you’re an older adult who’s interested in passing on your knowledge and helping a new generation, the Foster Grandparents program could be just what you need.

About the Foster Grandparents Program

The Foster Grandparents program is part of Senior Corps, which is part of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), a federal agency that also includes AmeriCorps, the Social Innovation Fund and the Volunteer Generation Fund.

A Worthy Volunteer Opportunity

After retiring, many seniors turn to volunteerism as a way of putting their sudden free time to good use while developing a new sense of purpose. There are many volunteer opportunities, but the Foster Grandparents program is one that’s uniquely suited to the strengths of older adults.

Foster Grandparents help at-risk youths of all ages, from infants to teens. They can act as mentors, tutors and nurturing caregivers. Foster Grandparents stay active in a way that is meaningful.

The Benefits of Being a Foster Grandparent

For seniors struggling with feelings of isolation and depression, volunteering with Senior Corps could offer relief.

According to studies conducted by CNCS, volunteering with Senior Corps provides many benefits. Approximately two-thirds of volunteers reported feeling less isolated. The majority of volunteers with symptoms of depression reported fewer symptoms after a year of volunteering. Almost half of volunteers reported improved health and wellbeing.

How to Get Started

To become a Foster Grandparent, you must be at least 55 years old. Most volunteers dedicate about 20 hours each week to the program.

To learn more, visit the CNCS website for Foster Grandparents. To see what volunteer opportunities are available where you live, check out the National Service in Your State webpage.

If you’re interested in volunteering but don’t think being a Foster Grandparent is right for you, consider the other volunteer opportunities provided by Senior Corps.

  • In the Senior Companions program, seniors over the age of 55 help other adults who need assistance with basic tasks like paying bills and shopping.
  • The RSVP program connects seniors with the best volunteer opportunities for their skills and preferences. Examples of possible volunteer opportunities include teaching English to immigrants, renovating homes, organizing neighborhood watch programs and more. Whatever your strengths, you should be able to find a good fit.