Locally, the Foster Grandparent Program serves 29 educational sites using 71 volunteers across Bartholomew, Brown, Decatur, Jackson, and Jennings County.

Beginning in 1973, our Foster Grandparents served at-risk children with special or exceptional needs at the Muscatatuck Center in Jennings County, Indiana. In 1993 the U.S. Congress approved and funded the National and Community Service Trust Act and re-focused our attention to school-based tutoring and mentoring for at-risk children. Nationally, the Foster Grandparent Program mobilizes 27,900 Foster Grandparents and serves 24 million children annually.

The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) is an independent, federal grant-making government agency whose mission is to improve lives, strengthen communities, and foster civic participation through service and volunteering.  For almost 20 years, CNCS – through its programs:  Senior Corps, Americorps, Volunteer Generation Fund and Social Innovation Fund – has helped to engage millions of citizens in meeting community and national challenges through service and volunteer action.  To learn more see www.nationalservice.gov.

Under Sponsorship of Thrive-Alliance (a provider of Aging and In-Home Services, Gathering Place Cafes,  programs for Wellness & Caregivers, First Steps, Housing for people with special circumstances or special needs)  The Foster Grandparents Program is authorized as one of four Senior Corp Services and receivs federal grant funds under the Corporation for National and Community Service.  We supplement our federal grant by raising 10% of our funding with community dollars and in-kind donations.  Learn more about Thrive-Alliance at www.thrive-alliance.org.

Foster Grandparents serve in public and parochial schools, Head Start Centers and youth-serving agencies for children and families.  The Edward M. Kennedy Serve American Act reauthorized and expanded the national service programs.  It also lowered the adult age eligibility from 60 to 55 and increased eligibility to 200% of the poverty level.  The Act also expanded and clarified its service mission to “children having special or exceptional needs or with conditions or circumstances identified as limiting their academic, social or economic development.”

Meet our Foster Grandparent Program Team

Marcia DeBock, Director

A 40-year veteran of nonprofit volunteer management and financial services.

mdebock@thrive-alliance.org

Jim Zeiger, Program Coordinator

A teacher, athletics coach, and youth program developer.

jezeiger@thrive-alliance.org

Carolyn Piechorowski, IT Coordinator

A Foster Grandparent with systems infrastructure experience.

cpiechorowski@yahoo.com