County seeking foster grandparents to mentor at-risk youth

Times Leader Staff

LUZERNE — The Foster Grandparent Program of Luzerne and Wyoming Counties will be hosting a pre-service orientation the week of Aug. 20.

The program seeks income-eligible senior citizens ages 55 or older. These volunteers will serve 20 hours a week mentoring at-risk children at host sites such as schools or day cares.

While there is no special education or training required, all new foster grandparents must participate in a 20-hour orientation training. On-the-job training will be provided by teacher and staff at host agencies.

The program is sponsored by the Area Agency on Aging for Luzerne and Wyoming Counties, and federally funded by the Corporation for National and Community Service.

Volunteers are offered monetary compensation. Assignments are determined by location and interests of the volunteers.

The average age of foster grandparents is 78, but the youngest is 55 and the oldest recently turned 96. Some 125 foster grandparents are currently serving.

Those interested in becoming a foster grandparent can call Mary Lou Zerfoss or Kathy Zgagowski at 570-822-1158 or 1-800-252-1512.

Times Leader Staff