Foster Grandparent

Connecting Generations, Changing Lives

At the heart of Catholic Social Services’ shared commitment to honoring the dignity inherent within every life we touch and nurturing vibrant communities is our Foster Grandparent Program. This program embodies our mission to kindle opportunities for service by linking generations in a symbiotic relationship of growth, compassion, and shared wisdom. Senior volunteers find meaningful and impactful ways to contribute their life experience, serving as mentors, tutors, and loving caregivers to children facing difficulties at home or in educational settings.

Who We Serve

Our Foster Grandparent Program offers a dual benefit. First, it helps economically disadvantaged seniors age 55 and older to engage actively in their communities, earning a modest stipend to supplement their income, while remaining socially active and mentally stimulated. Second, it provides children from challenging backgrounds the invaluable opportunity to receive individualized care and attention that can transform their educational experience and personal development. 


Everyone wins when generations come together to support each other.

About the Program

In partnership with local educational institutions, our foster grandparents work alongside teachers to provide targeted student assistance. The child’s needs guide the grandparent’s role–whether it’s helping develop reading skills, recognizing colors, using utensils, or tying shoes, our grandparents are there to give a helping hand and an open heart.

The Foster Grandparent Program at Catholic Social Services is more than a program—it’s a community, a family, and a testament to the love and care we can provide when we come together. Join us in making a difference for both the seniors and the children of our community.


Becoming a Foster Grandparent with us doesn’t require any prior teaching experience. We are looking for:

  • No prior experience working with children or teaching is necessary, as we provide comprehensive training.
  • Participants must pass the San Diego Reading assessment to ensure proper placement.
  • A willingness to share knowledge and experience with young children is essential.
  • Applicants must be at least 55 years old.
  • A minimum of 15 hours per week on a set schedule is required for volunteering.
  • Participants must meet the income requirements specified by the program.
  • A BCI/FBI background check must be passed.
  • A Doctor, CNP or Advanced Practice Nurse must give clearance to serve, as documented on our physical evaluation form.


When you join us as a Foster Grandparent, the rewards extend far beyond the satisfaction of guiding young minds. Benefits include:

  • A stipend of $4.00 an hour.
  • A daily meal reimbursement of up to $6.00 per day.
  • For those using personal transportation, $0.45 a mile is given for travel to and from the volunteer site or a full bus fare will be reimbursed.
  • The monetary reimbursement is a stipend, not income.
  • The funds participants receive are never taxed and will not affect any current or future benefits such as income-based housing, disability support, or food stamps.
  • An annual physical can be reimbursed up to $40.
  • A minimum of 25 hours of pre-service training is provided, along with monthly in-service training.
  • We also offer annual volunteer recognition to showcase the dedication and impact of our valued seniors.

How to Get Involved

We’ve made it simple to get involved or ask questions.

If you or someone you know would like to be considered for this program, please contact Volunteer Coordinator Erika Dlugo at (614) 857-1225 or

Preschools and elementary schools interested in learning about how to get Foster Grandparents in their building should contact Program Director Tameko Martin by phone at (614) 857-1246 or by email at