Foster Grandparent Program and Senior Companion 

Foster Grandparent Program

The Kern Regional Center Foster Grandparent Program establishes person-to-person relationships between limited income adults, 55 years of age and older, to children receiving services from the Regional Center. The Foster Grandparent Program is a national program that has been active in Kern County since 1999 at Kern Regional Center. The Program is funded through the Corporation for National and Community Service and the California Department of Developmental Services. Foster Grandparent volunteers bring a lifetime of experience to children and provide an opportunity for them to more fully participate in school. Foster Grandparents serve children in schools within Kern County.

Volunteers serve at thousands of local organizations that:

  • Help children learn to read and provide one-on-one tutoring

  • Mentor troubled teenagers and young mothers

  • Care for premature infants or children with disabilities

  • Help children who have been abused or neglected

All you need to join is the ability to give the kind of comfort and love that sets a child on the path toward a successful future. If you’re 55 or older and want to share your experience and compassion, you have what it takes to be a Foster Grandparent.  

Volunteer Qualifications

In order to qualify for the Programs, volunteers must be aged 55 or over and must meet income qualifications.


Benefits to Volunteering

The Foster Grandparent and Senior Companion Programs benefit all parties involved. Volunteers receive a tax-exempt stipend, daily meal and travel allowance, annual recognition and other benefits.

Foster Grandparent and Senior Companion Program Specialist 

                Melissa Searson

(661) 852-3217

Senior Companion Program

The Senior Companion Program shares the same philosophy and goals as the Foster Grandparent Program; however, they serve adults 21 years of age and older. Senior Companions serve at Adult Day Programs and Work Activity Programs within Kern County.

Volunteers receive pre-service orientation, training from the organization where they serve, supplemental insurance while on duty, and may qualify to earn a tax-free hourly stipend.