Volunteer opportunity description

Many children in New York City with special needs can benefit from the love and support of a compassionate senior. These children may be in foster care; have parents who are incarcerated; be performing below grade level in math and reading; or have been neglected or abused. The Foster Grandparent Program harnesses the skills and experiences of seniors to improve the lives of these children.

Volunteers perform a variety of tasks, such as tutoring in reading and math, providing mentorship and emotional support, and helping children build the confidence they need to succeed and become happy and productive adults. As a volunteer, you will work one-on-one, or in a group setting in an elementary school, daycare center, after school or Head Start program to help your assigned “grandchild”.  Volunteers gain satisfaction from contributing to and helping others. Neighborhoods grow stronger and the lives of children are positively affected.


  • Tutor children in reading and math
  • Engage in activities with children
  • Provide mentorship and emotional support
  • Help children build confidence to succeed
  • Maintain a log of activities


  • Half-day pre-service orientation and monthly trainings provided

Time Commitment:

  • Volunteers serve 3-5 days per week, Monday – Friday
  • A minimum of 15 hours per week is required (20 hours preferred)
  • Hours are typically between 8:00am - 3:00pm, but can run later for after school programs
  • Minimum one year commitment strongly requested


  • Modest tax-free stipend
  • Reimbursement for public transportation
  • Daily meal during service (availability of meals depends on the site)
  • Accident and liability insurance while volunteering


  • Must be age 55 or older
  • Meet NYC residency and low-income requirements
  • Meet background check and fingerprint requirements
  • Have a passion to work with and care for children (from infancy to 21 years old)
  • Possess patience and empathy for young children and adolescents
  • Possess good listening skills; be non-judgmental
  • Physical exam by personal doctor required prior to entry into the program

Our volunteer needs

We need volunteers who are free at these times


Volunteer opportunity location(s)

About the organization

New York City Department for the Aging (DFTA)

Volunteer Resources - Aging Connect
NYC Department for the Aging
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