FOSTER GRANDPARENT PROGRAM
The Kankakee-Livingston Counties Foster Grandparent Program began in 1972 as an effort for senior citizens to improve their lives, strengthen the community and foster civic engagement through service and volunteering. This voluntarism effort has helped young and old alike grow, gain confidence and become productive members of society. The benefits to individuals, families, schools and communities are both immediate and long-lasting. This intergenerational project also provides many opportunities for youngsters and seniors to learn and grow together. The National Foster Grandparent Program was established in 1965 to:
· Enable income-eligible persons aged 55 and over to remain physically and mentally active and to enhance their self-esteem through continued participation in needed community services.
· Enable children with either exceptional or special needs to achieve improved, mental, emotional, and social development thereby aiding them in reaching their behavioral and academic goals.
· Provide a stipend and other benefits which enable eligible persons to participate as Foster Grandparents without cost to themselves.
The Kankakee-Livingston Counties Foster Grandparent program currently has 68 Foster Grandparents who volunteer 15-35 hours a week. The Foster Grandparents serve as tutors, mentors and caregivers at 12 volunteer sites in Kankakee and Livingston Counties. Fringe benefits include an hourly stipend, a free annual physical exam, 3 personal days, 10 sick days and 10 vacation days (15 vacation days after 5 years), 1-2 free meals a day and a daily transportation reimbursement. During the period of January 1 – December 31, 2008 the Foster Grandparents contributed 61,687 volunteer hours to over 500 children.
If interested, contact Karen D. Harrison, FGP Director or Valerie Snow, FGP Coordinator at (815) 937-5065, M-F, between 8:00 a.m.– 4:00 p.m.