Foster Grandparents

Become a Senior Corps volunteer through the Foster Grandparents Program and help children love learning.


Foster Grandparents are role models, mentors, and tutors to children with exceptional needs. The program provides a way for volunteers age 55 and better to stay active by serving children and youth in their communities.

Foster Grandparents help the children they work with by improving each child's behavioral and educational outcome through assistance with social skills, math, writing, and reading, and by providing one-on-one attention for students in a busy classroom. 

All you need to join is the ability to give the kind of comfort and love that sets a child on the path toward a successful future. If you're 55 or better and want to share your experience and compassion, you have what it takes to be a Foster Grandparent.


The goals of the program include:

  • Enable low-income persons aged 55 and older to remain physically and mentally active and to enhance their self-esteem through continued participation in needed community services.
  • Enable children with exceptional needs or special needs to achieve improved physical, mental, emotional, and social development.
  • Provide a stipend or other benefits that enable individuals to participate as Foster Grandparents without cost to themselves


Patricia Brunson, Foster Grandparent
Neighborhood Art House
Better known as "Ms. Pat" by Art House students, Patricia started volunteering at the Art House thanks to GECAC's Foster Grandparent program. Ms. Pat said, "I have always loved working with kids, and helping to create a better future for them. I enjoy that the Art House is a positive experience for the kids and creates long-lasting memories." She says that not only does she love making a difference in their lives, but they are making a difference in hers.

Volunteer Qualifications

  • Be age 55 or better
  • Live in Erie County
  • Can serve between 5 to 40 hours a week
  • Complete a background check 

Income Eligibility

Foster Grandparent Program eligibility is based on income. Your family income must be within 200% of federal poverty guidelines

  • For a single person household:  $29,180 year or less
  • For a 2 person household:  $39,440 year or less

What You Will Do

AmeriCorps Seniors Foster Grandparents are now volunteering in the classrooms and childcare centers with no restrictions.

  • Volunteer in the classroom 
  • Make extra money and keep your benefits
  • Help children learn to read and provide one-on-one tutoring
  • Decide which days you will volunteer
  • Provide comfort and love to children

What GECAC Will Do

  • Match you with a school or child care center
  • Provide orientation
  • Provide a non-taxable stipend and other benefits to help offset the costs of participation

Becoming a Volunteer

There are two steps that need to be completed to become a volunteer at GECAC Foster Grandparent:

  1. Complete Volunteer Application (please see income eligibilty guidelines)
  2. Provide a Background Check: Once you have completed the three steps, a representative from the GECAC Foster Grandparent Program will contact you.

General Information

First Name *
Last Name *
Address *
Apartment #
City *
State *
Zip *
Phone *
Email *
Date of Birth *
Marital Status *

Additional Information

Please explain why you wish to be a Foster Grandparent Program Volunteer *
Please describe any experience you have with children, tutoring or mentoring
What languages can you speak and/or translate?
Have you ever served in the military?
Which branch did you serve in?

Please Read Carefully

Placement in the Foster Grandparent Program is contingent on the outcome of the Online Sex Offender Search, the Criminal Background Check, the PA Child Abuse Background Check and the FBI Fingerprinting Check. Applicants have the right to challenge the outcome of their background checks if they feel they are inaccurate. 

If an applicant meets all of the requirements for the program and continues on with training, a physical and TB test will be required. All FGP physicals are done by Concentra Urgent Care at no cost to the applicant.

Request More Info

Lisa Anderson
Program Director
814-459-4581 ext 462