How to Become a Foster Grandparent

Foster Grandparents is a national program established in 1965 for the purpose of pairing low-income seniors with at-risk children. Foster grandparents volunteer their time to enhance the quality of life to children and youth in preschools, homeless shelters and other community programs. Volunteer activities can include rocking, feeding, and playing with babies, assisting pre-school children to learn colors, shapes, and develop fine and gross motor skills, tutoring reading and other subjects in elementary school, tutoring, sharing with, interacting with, and mentoring older children.


  1. 1
    Explore the requirements of the foster grandparents program.
    • Your income can’t be above $1,805 a month, or above $2,428 if you are a two person household.
    • You must be age 55 or over to participate.
    • You will be expected to donate at least 15 hours a week of your time. Some programs allow you to volunteer up to 40 hours per week.
    • You will be required to undergo some training before you begin your service.
    • You will be required fill out an application, provide references, be interviewed and to pass a criminal background check.
    • You will be expected to serve as a role model, a mentor and a friend. You will be expected to provide one-on-one tutoring and emotional guidance to your foster grandchild.


  • Foster Grandparents serve up to 40 hours per week. Some volunteers may qualify to earn a tax-free, hourly stipend. With Foster Grandparents, you’ll receive pre-service orientation, training from the organization where you serve, and supplemental accident and liability insurance while on duty.
  • Some programs give a nontaxable stipend to volunteers. The stipend will not affect any other income benefits you receive. Some programs will also provide supplemental accident and liability insurance, as well as assistance with the cost of transportation.
  • Most programs provide on-going training and support.


  • Examine your desire to be a foster grandparent and be sure you are willing to donate the necessary hours every week. The foster grandchild assigned to you will come to depend upon your weekly involvement.
  • Some programs require an annual physical in order for you to continue to volunteer.

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Categories: Volunteer and Community Service