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:

Photo of elderly woman gardening with child
  • 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 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

Frequently Asked Questions

What do Foster Grandparents do?

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.

What benefits do Foster Grandparents receive?

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!

How do I get involved?

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 email or call 810-257-3779.

Get in Touch

Robyn Johnston

Senior Companion Director & Foster Grandparent Director

Location: 940 South Grand Traverse Street, Flint, MI 48502
EmailPhone: 810-257-3769
Learn More About Robyn Johnston

Foster Grandparent Staff

Cecilia Rymar, RSST

Program Supervisor

Margietta Miller, AA

Foster Grandparent Program Office Manager

Antonio Massie

Foster Grandparent Supervisor

Donations to Our Agency 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 South Grand Traverse Street, Flint, MI 48502.

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

The FSA is a United Way Partner
The FSA is a member of the Alliance for Children and Families
The FSA is a member of the Michigan Guardianship Association