By bringing together senior citizens and children who have special or exceptional needs, the Foster Grandparent Program allows retired individuals to engage in meaningful work that benefits all involved.
Since 1981 the Foster Grandparent Program has been apart of Catholic Charities mission. The program was established to give retired individuals opportunities to help local youth. With the idea of positive individual attention the foster grandparents help children make gains in their physical, psychological educational and social development. By spending time with older individuals, children can learn a sense of values and coping skills, which help them respond to life's challenges.
Service to Children
Foster grandparents serve in volunteer stations such as schools, shelters, early childhood programs, daycare centers and hospitals. Each year, foster grandparents give more than 100,000 hours of services to children in our communities. Depending on the assignment, foster grandparents provide assistance by:
- Nurturing children through listening, talking, walking or reading
- Providing intellectual stimulation through one-on-one tutoring
- Helping with the child’s daily personal needs, such as feeding and dressing
Did You Know? In Kansas, only 47.4% of kindergarten students are prepared or ready for school. The Foster Grandparent Program at Catholic Charities helps children prepare to succeed.
Becoming a Foster Grandparent
Apart from being able to enrich the lives of children within the community, being in the Foster Grandparent Program has many other advantages, including:
- A stipend of $2.65 per hour is paid to those who meet income eligibility requirements
- An orientation, 20 hours of initial training and an additional 20 hours of training during the first year
- Monthly, supplemental inservice programs about aging issues and various approaches to working with children who have mental, physical or emotional difficulties
- Transportation assistance
- Accident and liability insurance
- Nutritious lunches
- Volunteer recognition for years of service
Although people of varying skills and education are needed as foster grandparents, to apply you must be:
- Retired, and, starting Oct. 2009, 55 years of age or older (This has changed from a minimum age of 60 years old)
- Enjoy working with children
- Willing and able to maintain a work schedule of 15 to 40 hours a week
- Have an income less than 200% of the poverty level
How Do I Become a Foster Grandparent?
Submit an application:
Fax an application:
Send the application by fax to (316) 202-0629.
Mail an application:
Foster Grandparent Program at Catholic Charities
St. Joseph Pastoral Center
437 N. Topeka St.
Wichita, KS 67202-2413
This program is funded by The Corporation for National Service and in-kind assistance from volunteer stations where foster grandparents serve through the communities in Sedgwick County.