Senior Corps Fact Sheet
Senior Corps taps the skills, talents, and experience of more than 245,000 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 tutors and mentors to young people with exceptional 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 208,000 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 208,000
- Hours Served 46,019,150
- Number of Projects 627 Federally-funded projects
- Children mentored or tutored – 78,000
- Adults receiving independent living services – 797,000
- Veterans Serving as RSVP volunteers- 20,100
- Number of Projects – 627 (Federally-funded)
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 – 25,190
- Hours Served – 21,130,627
- Children Served – 189,100
- Number of Children of Military Families Served – 2,700
- Number of Projects – 319 (Federally-funded)
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 – 12,190
- Hours Served – 7,479,349
- Frail, older adults served – 43,000
- Families receiving respite care – 6,650
- Frail, older Veterans served – 3,100
- Number of Projects – 182 (Federally-funded)
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 millions of 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.
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