Become a Foster Grandparent

A Foster Grandparent may be seen as a mentor, a friend, or even a substitute grandparent. The main goal of the Program is to help children with pre-reading and reading skills.  Sometimes a Foster Grandparent helps with homework, plays games or shares stories with the students.  Children of all ages benefit from the knowledge and love senior volunteers share.

For more information contact:

Clay Courtney, Program Director

Phone: 641-682-3449

Volunteer Application

Benefits of Brightening a Child's Day!

  • Receive approximately $240 to $480 a month of tax-free income as a reimbursement for your volunteer effort that does not affect: Title XIX, SSI, Rent Status, Heat Assistance, or any benefit you are receiving
  • Free yearly physical
  • One meal furnished during volunteer hours
  • Receive 20 hours of pre-service training
  • Monthly In-Service training
  • Paid Holidays
  • Paid time-off for medical and vacation
  • Paid mileage (if you drive your car)
  • Transportation (public) may be available if you have no car
  • Self-satisfaction in knowing you make a difference in the life of a child
  • Being with children will keep you active and young at heart
  • Meet new people and make new friends
  • Giving a little bit of your lifetime of knowledge back to society
  • Receive many hugs and smiles each day


  • Age 55 years or older, male or female, living in Wapello County
  • Willing to volunteer 20 or more hours a week
  • Volunteer for 9 or 12 month time period
  • Enjoy working with children on an individual basis; in schools, pre-schools, child care centers, Head Start, etc.
  • Meet income guidelines:  single person $1861.00 or less per month / 2 persons $2,5021.67 or less per month

Trusted Since 1965

The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) is the Federal Agency that administers the Foster Grandparent Program, the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program, and the Senior Companion Program.  These three programs together form Senior Corp.  CNCS also administers AmeriCorps and Learn and Serve America.  These programs engage Americans of all ages and backgrounds in services that strengthen communities.  The Foster Grandparent Program began in 1965 and came to Ottumwa in 2000.  Currently, the enrollment is 30 volunteers, who give over 33,000 hours of service annually.