Senior Corps Fact Sheet
Senior Corps taps the skills, talents, and experience of more than 330,000 Americans age 55 and over to meet a wide range of community challenges through three programs — RSVP, the Foster Grandparent Program, and the Senior Companion Program.
RSVP volunteers recruit and manage other volunteers, participate in environmental projects, mentor and tutor children, and respond to natural disasters, among many other activities. Foster Grandparents serve one-on-one as tutors and mentors to young people with special needs. Senior Companions help frail seniors and other adults maintain independence primarily in the clients’ own homes.
Established in 1971 and now one of the largest senior volunteer organizations in the nation, RSVP engages more than 296,000 people age 55 and older in a diverse range of volunteer activities. Volunteers tutor children, renovate homes, teach English to immigrants, assist victims of natural disasters, provide independent living services, recruit and manage other volunteers, and serve their communities in many other ways. RSVP volunteers choose how, where, and how often they want to serve, with commitments ranging from a few hours to 40 hours per week.
Eligibility: RSVP is open to all people age 55 and over. Volunteers do not receive monetary incentives, but sponsoring organizations may reimburse them for some costs incurred during service, including meals and transportation.
Annual RSVP Statistical Highlights*
- Volunteers 296,100
- Hours Served 60 million
- Number of Projects 685
- Organizations Supported 65,000
- Children Mentored 80,000
- Children of Prisoners Mentored 16,000
- Frail Elderly Served 676,000
- Annual Federal Funding $50.2 million
- Non-Federal Support $42.9 million
Foster Grandparent Program
The Foster Grandparent Program (FGP), which began in 1965, provides loving and experienced tutors and mentors to children and youth with special needs. Working one-on-one and serving between 15 and 40 hours a week, Foster Grandparents provide support in schools, hospitals, drug treatment centers, correctional institutions, and child care centers. Among other activities, they review schoolwork, reinforce values, teach parenting skills to young parents, and care for premature infants and children with disabilities. Foster Grandparents often maintain an ongoing, intensive relationship with the children and youth served for a year or longer.
Eligibility: Volunteers must be 55 years of age or over. Those who meet certain income guidelines receive a small stipend. All FGP volunteers receive accident and liability insurance and meals while on duty, reimbursement for transportation, and monthly training.
Annual FGP Statistical Highlights*
- Volunteers 27,900
- Hours Served 24 million
- Young People Served 232,300
- Children of Prisoners Served 7,000
- Number of Children of Military Families Served 2,250
- Number of Projects 325
- Annual Federal Funding $110.7 million Non-Federal Support $33 million
Senior Companion Program
The Senior Companion Program (SCP), which began in 1974, helps frail seniors and other adults maintain independence primarily in the clients’ own homes. Senior Companions serve between 15 and 40 hours a week and typically serve between two and four clients. Among other activities, they assist with daily living tasks, such as grocery shopping and bill paying; provide friendship and companionship; alert doctors and family members to potential problems, and provide respite to family caregivers.
Eligibility: Volunteers must be 55 years of age or over. Those who meet certain income guidelines receive a small stipend. All SCP volunteers receive accident and liability insurance and meals while on duty, reimbursement for transportation, and monthly training.
Annual SCP Statistical Highlights*
- Volunteers 13,600
- Hours Served 12.2 million
- Clients Served 60,940
- Caregivers Given Respite 7,900
- Number of Projects 220
- Annual Federal Funding $46.8 million
- Non-Federal Support $22.9 million
Corporation for National and Community Service
The three Senior Corps programs were created by the federal government in the mid-1960s and early 1970s. Since 1993, they have been administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service, the federal agency that improves lives, strengthens communities and fosters civic engagement through service and volunteering. Each year CNCS engages more than 5 million Americans of all ages and backgrounds in service to meet local needs through its Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, and Learn and Serve America programs, and leads President Obama’s Call to Service initiative, United We Serve. For more information on CNCS, visit NationalService.gov.
*STATISTICS NOTE: Data from FY2010 & 2011. Annual federal funding reflects FY2012 enacted level.
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