Foster Grandparent Program


Foster Grandparent Program

The Foster Grandparent Program was developed in 1965 as a cooperative effort between the Office of Economic Opportunity and the Department of Health Education and Welfare (HEW) in Washington, D.C. The Foster Grandparent Program moved to the Lake Area in the fall of 1999. Its purpose is to enable low-income senior citizens to supplement their income in a meaningful way by providing volunteer service to special-needs children. The program is funded by a federal grant through the Corporation for National and Community Service and is sponsored by Big Brothers Big Sisters of SWLA.

We currently have 71 active senior citizens in the program volunteering in 1 daycare, 1 head start program, 13 elementary schools and 1 after school program in Calcasieu and Jeff Davis Parishes. One of our Foster Grandparents is also a child advocate for CASA. They receive a small stipend and can work up to 20 hours per week.

The Foster Grandparents work with children one-on-one, helping those who are struggling with reading and math with the intention of helping them to reach grade level by grade three and to reach the “Above Basic” level on Leap iLeap standardized tests. Along with the practical hands on work, the grandparents also help to boost the self-esteem and self-confidence of the children that they are working with by continually praising their efforts and accomplishments, no matter how small that effort or accomplishment might be. For many of the children they work with, this praise may be the only praise they receive throughout their day, with the exception of their teacher’s.

Helping children reach their full potential and eventually realize their dreams is the goal of our teachers and parents. The Foster Grandparents work beside these people and give the extra support and help that some children desperately need. For a child that is struggling to learn, what a wonderful thing it is for them to have a foster grandparent to sit with them while they work, not to judge but to encourage and help them to strive.

Visit the Corporation for National and Community Service website at www.CNCS.gov to read more about the Foster Grandparent Program. You can also follow us on Facebook!

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Whether you get involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters as a donor, potential Big Brother or Big Sister, partner, advocate, or family member, you have the power to change a child's future for the better. 

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