Family Service Agency of Mid Michigan header

Foster Grandparent

Foster Grandparent

It is well-known that grandparents can play an important role in children's lives. By listening, caring and simply being a part of a child's life, grandparents provide encouragement, support, stability and connectedness that can have a profound and lasting impact. They also serve as excellent role models and sounding boards. This is especially important for children who come from at-risk backgrounds or who face physical or emotional challenges.

The Foster Grandparent Program provides an opportunity for older adults (55 and older) living on a small income, the opportunity to give meaningful service to the community, by volunteering with special needs children. Each Foster Grandparent spends an average of 20 hours a week providing individual attention to children who are:

  • Developmentally Challenged
  • Chronically/Terminally Ill
  • Abused and Neglected
  • Learning Impaired
  • Emotionally Challenged
  • Physically Challenged
  • At-Risk

The Foster Grandparent Program began nationally in 1965, and our program was established in 1978. It is funded through the Corporation for National and Community Service, Michigan Office of Services to the Aging, Michigan Department of Transportation and local contributions.

Foster Grandparent Program FAQ

Q. What do Foster Grandparents do?
A. Each Foster Grandparent is assigned to one or two children. On a typical day he or she spends time with the assigned child or children developing a special relationship. Foster Grandparents provide emotional support, respite for parents, role modeling and tutoring assistance.

Q. What benefits do Foster Grandparent receive?
A. Each Foster Grandparent receives:

  • Tax-exempt stipend of $2.65 per hour
  • One meal each day of service
  • Annual physical
  • Recognition
  • Smock and badge
  • 40 hours pre-service orientation
  • On-going monthly in-services training
  • Mileage/travel reimbursement
  • Regular supervision
  • Liability and excess auto insurance (for those driving their vehicles)

However the most important benefit is feeling needed and valued!

Q. How do I get involved?
A. If you would like more information about serving in the Foster Grandparent Program, receiving the services of a Foster Grandparent or MDOT Title VI contact Gloria McCracken, Director, via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 810-257-3779.

Foster Grandparent Program Facts and Figures

  • 99% of FG say their life is better since they volunteer
  • 74% depend upon the stipend they receive to meet basic needs
  • Average age of a volunteer in Genesee, Lapeer and Shiawassee Counties is 74
  • The average annual income of a foster grandparent is $9,800
  • 68,904 hours of service were provided to special needs children in FY 2010
  • 1,565 children received one on one attention from a foster grandparent last year.

How the Foster Grandparent Program Helps Children

  • 97% of students demonstrate improved self esteem
  • 84% have an improved attitude about reading
  • 90% have an improved attitude about school
  • 84% have improved reading ability
  • 100% report increased social participation
Text Size

Foster Grandparent Director

  • Robyn Johnston

    Email | Phone: 810-257-3779

    Robyn Johnston has over 25 years of experience in gerontology in a supervisory and administrative capacity.


Foster Grandparent Staff

  • Location: 940 S Grand Traverse St,
                     Flint, MI 48503
    Email: Email

    • Program Supervisor, Cecilia Rymar, RSST
    • Program Supervisor, Michael McCabe, BS
    • Secretary, Margietta Miller, AA
    • Transportation Supervisor, Antonio Massie
    • Driver, Jimmie Jones
    • Driver, Burton Perkins

Donations to This Program are Always Welcome

Donations go a long way to help support this important program.

Our program takes pride in the fact that less than 20% of our budget goes to administrative costs.

  • $25 would pay for recognition for one volunteer for one year
  • $200 would pay for one volunteer’s lunch for the year
  • $2,766 would fund the stipend for one volunteer for one year of service (1,044 hours)
  • $5,000 would cover the cost of one volunteer’s stipend, meal/travel reimbursement, recognition and supervision for one year

The Foster Grandparent Program is located at 940 S Grand Traverse St, Flint, MI 48502.

To make your tax-deductible donation call Robyn Johnston at 810-257-3779.