The FGP's Advisory Council is responsible for setting policy for FGP and for providing advice and assistance in areas such as recognition and publicity. The Advisory Council meets five times a year. Five Foster Grandparents serve on the Advisory Council, as well as representatives from FGP volunteer stations and from the community.
Applicants must be age fifty-five and older to be eligible to be Foster Grandparents. The Fort Wayne group’s average age is 71. They must have incomes no greater than 200% of poverty level. Our Grandparents' average income is $14,145 per year.
Foster Grandparents are considered volunteers but are paid a stipend of $3.15 an hour for an average of twenty hours per week. This income is not taxable and is not counted in the determination of other benefits such as Medicaid or subsidized housing. The Grandparents are paid for holidays and can earn eight hours per month of paid time off.
Foster Grandparents attend a pre-service orientation, then come to monthly in-service meetings which include program announcements, time for socializing with each other, and guest speakers who educate on topics related to children or senior issues.
Foster Grandparents are reimbursed for their bus fare or mileage. At most sites, lunches are provided daily. The Grandparents are insured while on duty. By staying active and volunteering with children, Foster Grandparents are healthier, less lonely and play an active role in the community.
Foster Grandparents are often recognized for their great work with Children. We celebrate their dedication with an annual luncheon, picnic and recognition presentation with invited guests and teachers from their volunteer stations.
Our number of Foster Grandparent volunteer positions is based on grant funding received from AmeriCorps. The average volunteers serve 1,044 hours annually. Being a Foster Grandparent provides flexibility, as many Grandparents may need time off because of illness, family visits, etc. Some of our volunteer locations such as Head Start and district schools are closed during the summer, which allows for extra time off for vacations, rest and relaxation.
The Foster Grandparents mentor and care for needy children at non-profit agencies throughout Fort Wayne. The Grandparents do not have full responsibility for the children; rather, a Foster Grandparent is the extra person, a stable and loving presence, a lap to sit on, someone with the patience to teach and encourage children one at a time. Grandparents will work one on one with children who need extra support to successfully accomplish their academic goals.
AmeriCorps is a federal agency that funds organizations to make positive impact in communities. To support the placement of our AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers a grant is given to our Foster Grandparent Program with a dual purpose: to engage Americans 55 years and older in volunteer service and to provide one-on-one support to children with special needs to improve their academic, social, and emotional development at their local schools and community centers. The local support from businesses, foundations and public agencies has strengthened community impact and increased the return on taxpayer dollars.