Springfield's OACAC searching for foster grandparents

Published: Jan. 21, 2020 at 11:40 AM CST
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If you are a low-income adult over 55, have spare time and and love kids, OACAC may have the perfect opportunity for you.

The Foster Grandparent Program has been around for decades. OACAC has about 56 foster grandparents now across 14 counties, but they need at least 70 to work in places like here at developmental center of the Ozarks.

They also work in places like Head Start centers, Boys & Girls Clubs and schools. Here at Developmental Center of the Ozarks, foster grandparent Donald Elliott spends time with kids in the four and five-year-old classroom. He has 14 grandkids of his own, but all of the kids here call him grandpa too. Foster grandparents are not directly responsible for caring for the children, but work with them on academic skills or just spend time with them to build self-confidence.

They spend at least 15 hours a week, up to 40 hours, with the kids and get a non-taxable stipend of $2.65 an hour, which is going up to $3 April 1. They also get a mileage reimbursement. But grandparents like Elliott find bigger benefits in how they feel when they spend time with the kids.

"Not only does it give a lower-income individual something to do and makes them live longer, they're happier, and it also gives our children a boost up," said Debbie Young, OACAC Foster Grandparent Program Director.

And if you're interested in learning more about the foster grandparent program, click

or call (417)864-3420.