Impact A Child: Become A Foster Grandparent

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture

Wisconsin Department of Health Services is looking for seniors to become a positive force in the lives of children and youth in the Oshkosh community through the Foster Grandparent Program. The program is run by the Winnebago Mental Health Institute which employs local seniors age 60 and older to serve the Oshkosh area.

“Since 1971, foster grandparents have made a difference in the life of a child by serving as a mentor or tutor to children and youth with special needs,” said Winnebago Director Bob Kneepkens. “They build bridges across generations and help children and adolescents succeed in life and overcome challenges they may face.”


Foster grandparents will be trained to tutor and mentor elementary, middle and high students in the Oshkosh School District. They may also choose to work with children and adolescents at Winnebago or at the local Boys and Girls Club in Oshkosh.

Seniors are encouraged to apply to the Foster Grandparent program if they are:

60 years of age or over Physically able and in good health Able to volunteer 15-20 hours each week Able to work with children with educational or emotional needs Pass a background check

The Foster Grandparent Program receives support from the Federal Corporation for National and Community Service, which reports that children and youth with established relationships to a foster grandparent show improvement in their academic performance, school attendance and self-image. They are also less likely to engage in risky behaviors or get into trouble.


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