Foster Grandparents

401 South Midler Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13206
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Phone: (315) 295-0719

Beth O’Hara – Director of Senior Services

Hours: Monday – Friday 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Meet Roy, or “Grandpa Roy”, an 11-year volunteer with the Foster Grandparent Program. Grandpa Roy helps in a classroom at PEACE, Inc. Head Start Merrick on the South Side of Syracuse. Currently, every classroom at the school has a foster grandparent.

The Foster Grandparent Program is a service project which gives senior citizens the opportunity to share their lifetime skills, talents and abilities with special needs children and young adults.

As volunteers, Foster Grandparents spend 20 hours each week at local elementary schools, daycare centers, Head Start sites, and children’s programs. Serving as positive role models, Foster Grandparents give one-to-one attention, encouragement and support to children needing assistance in overcoming social, emotional and academic obstacles.

senior woman working with three kids at table

Whether cuddling an abused infant, tutoring a second grader, or mentoring a teen mother, Foster Grandparents make a remarkable difference. Their presence ensures that special needs children are receiving additional individualized support, encouragement and companionship. By providing a stable, loving presence in a young person’s life, Foster Grandparents are building bridges between the younger and older generations.

In improving the lives of the children they serve, Foster foster grandmother reading to girlGrandparents are profoundly improving their own lives. While remaining active and making valuable contributions to their communities, Foster Grandparents experience improved health, welfare and quality of life.

Foster Grandparents must be 55 years of age and older, in good health, able to serve a minimum of 20 hours a week, and have access to reliable transportation. All transportation expenses associated with their FGP assignment are reimbursed.

Foster Grandparents meeting income guidelines receive an hourly stipend of $2.65 (equaling $2,677 a year). The stipend is tax free and cannot be counted as income to reduce benefits, such as SSI, Medicaid, rent subsidies, food stamps and other senior benefits.

Foster Grandparent Program Brochuree

December 2014 – “Syracuse School “Elves” Take a Different Shape With Foster Grandparent Program” – Syracuse University Newhouse class site

November 2014 – by National School Boards Association

October 2010 – in My Southside Stand

National Foster Grandparents Website

To start an application to be a Foster Grandparent right now, please click here.

Funded by Corporation for National & Community Service, New York State Office for the Aging, United Way of Central New York, Jim & Juli Boeheim Foundation, and the Syracuse City School District.