Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Foster Grandparent Program

EDITOR’s NOTE: Each week, we’ll feature intergenerational program ideas that were tried and successful. This series is a tool to highlight various age-optimized programs and practices. The program descriptions are provided by representatives of the programs. Inclusion in this series does not imply Generations United’s endorsement or recommendation, but rather encourages ideas to inspire other programs.

In part 18 of our series, we feature the Foster Grandparent Program, an initiative of NOrth Coast Opportunities, Inc. in Ukiah, CA.

The Foster Grandparent Program places low income, older adults as tutors and mentors to special needs children in preschools, Head Start Centers, public schools, after school programs like Boys and Girls Clubs, and juvenile detention centers.

Volunteers serve a minimum of 15 to a maximum of 40 hours per week in supervised settings. Pre-service orientation is provided as well as monthly in-service training.

All volunteers receive a criminal history background verification, and an annual physical examination.

The mission of the program is to empower older adults, to promote healthy aging and economic self-sufficiency for low income older adults while tutoring and mentoring special needs children to enhance their physical, mental, emotional and social development.

Classroom teachers assign specific children to each foster grandparent and complete an assignment plan that identifies activities to be completed with each child daily to assist the children to achieve identified goals and objectives in the areas of social, academic and emotional development.

Currently the program provides service in Del Norte, Humboldt, Lake, Mendocino and northern Sonoma counties in northern California. The program is been sponsored by North Coast Opportunities, a community action agency since 1973.

Got something cool you tried that was successful? Why not tweet your cool intergenerational ideas to #cooligideas? You can also post them to our Intergenerational Connections Facebook Group or just text us through the Facebook Messenger app (friend me to join our Cool Intergenerational Ideas group discussion). We want to highlight innovative age-optimized programs and practices through our blog, social media and weekly e-newsletter!  Share the inspiration.

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