Help Others and Become a Foster Grandparent

By: Jody Smith

Plenty of Boomers are looking for ways to give back. In fact, the U.S. Census has reported that it's anticipated that the number of Boomer volunteers will grow from less than nine million in 2007, to more than 13 million in 2012. And Baby Boomer volunteerism may increase far beyond this number in future years.

Those Boomers who are grandparents are often quite involved in the lives of their grown children and grandchildren. This is true in cases where Boomers live near their families, and even when their families live far away. The U.S. Government Foster Grandparent program has been taking advantage of this nurturing side of the aging Baby Boomer.

Thwarted Boomer grandparents who have limited or no access to their grandchildren, as well as Boomers who have no grandchildren, are prime candidates for the role of foster grandparent. As a foster grandparent you can care for premature babies and for children who are ill or physically disabled, nurture children who have experienced neglect or abuse, be a role model and mentor to young mothers and to disadvantaged young people, or even tutor children who are having difficulty in learning to read.

For the Boomer who longs to be a mentor and role model, this role of foster grandparent can be extremely satisfying. Thousands of local organizations are looking for these foster grandmas and grampas. Schools, faith-based groups, Head Start Centers are just a few of the groups who'd love to team up with grandparent wannabees.

The Foster Grandparent program welcomes these grandparents to work with children for a maximum of 40 hours a week. The program offers training and orientation through the group you're working with. It provides supplemental accidental and liability insurance to the Boomer while doing volunteer work. In cases where low income of the Baby Boomer meets certain criteria, a stipend may be available.

Does this catch your interest? Wondering how you can get in on it?

According to Nationalservice.gov, you must be 55 years of age or older. You should, of course, be a person who is interested in being involved with young people in a dynamic and caring way.

You can find more information on how to be a foster grandparent by visiting www.nationalservice.gov/about/programs/seniorcorps_fg.asp or http://www.seniorcorps.gov/about/programs/fg.asp/

Jody Smith is a freelance writer for Empowher.com

Sources:

Keeping Baby Boomers Volunteering

http://www.focusonimpact.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Keeping-Baby-Boomers-Volunteering.pdf

Baby Boomers without Grandchildren can become Grandboomers, too!

http://www.grandboomers.com/profiles/blogs/baby-boomers-without

Foster Grandparents

http://www.nationalservice.gov/about/programs/seniorcorps_fg.asp

Related Links:

How to Become a Foster Parent

http://www.empowher.com/adult-living/content/how-become-foster-parent

Grandparents and Grandchildren: Match Made in Heaven

http://www.empowher.com/active-adult/content/grandparents-and-grandchildren-match-made-heaven

Dispelling Myths of Domestic Adoptions

http://www.empowher.com/parenting/content/dispelling-myths-domestic-adoptions-5

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