The Foster Grandparent Program is a volunteer program funded by The Corporation for National and Community Service. Foster Grandparent volunteers are role models, mentors, and friends to children with exceptional needs. The program provides a way for volunteers age 55 and older to stay active by serving children and youth in their communities.
The Department of Juvenile Services has been a sponsor of the Foster Grandparent program for 32+ years. The program consists of the Program manager, Office Secretary, Patient /Client Driver and 70 Foster Grandparent Volunteers. Our FGP volunteers serve an average of 20 hours per week to provide individualize tutoring and mentoring to youth identified as needing assistance through a network of 24 site stations. The majority of sites chosen place the FGP volunteers in school settings to assist the educational staff in providing academic support. Schools participating in the program include public and alternative schools as well as schools inside DJS facilities. FGP volunteers also serve in a Youth Club providing after school tutoring and in a 3rd Grade Reading Program. The Foster Grandparents also work side by side the youth they serve on activities of local service groups to benefit the community. Activities include food drives, creating greeting cards for veterans, and stuffing gift bags for children residing in emergency care shelters. FGP volunteers serve an average of 20 hours per week.
Volunteer recruitment efforts include direct presentations to community groups or associations, social and faith based organizations, and distribution of recruitment brochures at senior centers and apartment buildings. Current volunteers provide a great recruitment source as well. When potential Foster Grandparents are identified, applicants are screened for eligibility. Applicants must agree to a National Service History which includes; State Criminal History Information, FBI Criminal History Check, and National Sex Offender Public Registry Check. The Program Manager will then assess their strengths and considers potential matches with the appropriate volunteer site station. Clear individual assignment plans and job descriptions are developed for each Foster Grandparent.