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Aging: Foster Grandparent Program

The Foster Grandparent Program (FGP) is a great way for older adults to give back to their community. Foster grandparents help kids with special needs. They serve as mentors, tutors, and caregivers.

We have almost 500 foster grandparents in Wisconsin. We’re always looking for others. Learn more and see if this program is right for you.

What foster grandparents do

Older adult and teen laughing while watching a laptop
Foster grandparents give five to 40 hours each week of volunteer service. They work through community groups, such as:
  • Schools.
  • Hospitals.
  • Child care centers.
  • Head Start programs.
  • Residential programs.

Foster grandparents help improve the lives of children. They also benefit from having a strong purpose in their community. Many volunteers report finding friends, learning, and feeling satisfied.

What foster grandparents get

Foster grandparents get:

  • A small, tax-free stipend.
  • Repayment for any of these expenses they have while on duty:
    • Accident and liability insurance
    • Careful orientation training to help serve kids with special needs
    • Meals
  • Physical exam each year
  • Refresher training at in-service group meetings each month
  • Transportation

Who can be a foster grandparent

Foster grandparents must:

  • Be at least 55 years old.
  • Meet certain income standards.

Program sponsors

Agencies in Wisconsin sponsor foster grandparent projects. Find the one in your county. Contact them to sign up:

  • Aging and Disability Resource Center of Portage County
    Julie Rekowski, FGP Director
    Counties: Portage
    Deb Shepro, FGP Director
    Counties: Fond du Lac, Green Lake, and Winnebago
  • Cooperative Educational Service Agency #10
    Mary Byrns, FGP Director
    Counties: Chippewa, Clark, Eau Claire, Monroe, Rush, Taylor, and Trempealeau
  • Lincoln Hills/Copper Lake Schools Department of Corrections Juvenile Correctional Facilities
    James Larkin, FGP Director
    715-536-8366, ext. 1290
    Counties: Lincoln
  • Encompass: Leaders in Early Education Care
    Deb Johnson, FGP Director
    Areas: Cities of Green Bay, De Pere, and Pulaski in Brown County
  • FGP of Northeast Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin
    Kate Paine, Director of Social Services
  • Kenosha Area Family & Aging Services Inc.
    Jeromy Moore, FGP Director
    Counties: Racine and Kenosha
  • Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Council
    Patricia Takamine, FGP Director
    Serves: All Wisconsin tribe members. Includes Milwaukee urban Indian population and a tribe in Michigan—Lac Vieux Desert.
  • Retired and Senior Volunteer Program of Dane County
    Margie Zutter, FGP Executive Director
    Areas: City of Madison and Dane County
  • Retired and Senior Volunteer Program of Rock County
    Laura Anastasi, Intergenerational and Foster Grandparent Program Director
    Counties: Rock
  • Social Development Commission
    Diane Robinson, Program Manager
    Counties: Milwaukee
  • Southwestern Community Action Programs
    Cindy Deckert, FGP Director
    608-935-2326, ext. 209
    Counties: Crawford, Grant, Green, Iowa, Lafayette, Richland, Sauk, and Vernon
  • Workforce Connections
    Teresa Pierce, Executive Director
    Areas: City of and Great La Crosse Area and La Crosse, Pepin, Buffalo, Jackson, and Juneau counties

Questions? Contact Laura Langer by email or at 608-422-1127

Last revised October 10, 2022