Department of Family & Support Services
Supporting Information Facts

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City Services

Senior Employment Programs

Foster Grandparent Program

The Foster Grandparent Program was established in 1965 to provide the seniors who volunteer for thi sprogram an opportunity to make a difference in a child's life. This program also gives the senior volunteer a presence in the community, an opportunity to be around other senior like themselves, free annual physicals and the ability to supplement their monthly income.

These volunteers provide a positive adult image for children with special needs by tutoring and mentoring children in Chicago Public Schools, day care centers, and rehabilitation centers.

To become a Foster Grandparent, you must:

  • Have a love of children
  • Be at least 55 years old
  • Resident of the City of Chicago
  • Meet the Federal income requirements
  • Be able to volunteer 5 days a week, 4 hours a day (20 hrs/wk)

Program Benefits:

  • A stipend of $2.65 per hour (which does not affect other benefits)
  • Carfare reimbursement (volunteers under 65 years of age)
  • Lunch every day of service
  • Annual physical
  • 40 hours of pre-service training
  • Monthly in-service training
  • Uniform

Foster Grandparent Brochure

Foster Grandparent Application

To apply to join the Foster Grandparent Program or for more information, contact the Chicago Department of Family & Support Services at 312.746.8572

Senior Community Service Employment Program

The Senior Community Service Employment Program, sponsored by the Illinois Department on Aging, is a training program designed to assist the mature worker (at least 55 years old) in re-entering the job market. It operates under a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor under the Title V of the Older Americans Act.

The training program places eligible individuals, usually for 20 hours a week at minimum wages, in nonprofit agencies or community service agencies community assignments. Mature workers will also be assisted in skill enhancement opportunities and assistance in the transition to unsubsidized employment.

There are two types of community service assignments available:

Program Trainee I

  • Provide assistance to the Department by performing direct service duties
  • Provide information to seniors regarding services and programs offered by the Department
  • Assists at nutrition sites to reserve meals tickets, set-up, serve food, keep kitchen and dining areas clean-up

Program Trainee II

  • Develops relationships with nursing home residents by conducting regular visits
  • Performs support services such as listening, talking and reading to residents
  • Keep residents aware of various advocacy services available to them
  • Alerts City Department to actual and potential abuse situations

To become a Senior Community Service Employment Program trainee, you must:

  • Be at least 55 years of age
  • Resident of the City of Chicago
  • Meet the Federal income requirements
  • Be unemployed
  • Be able to work (train) 83 hrs/month, week-end availability may be required

Training Benefits:

  • Training wage - $8.25 an hour
  • Annual physical
  • Assistance in the transition to unsubsidized employment

The Senior Community Service Employment Program Trainee Handbook can be obtained by clicking on the Adobe link below.

SCSEP Trainee Handbook

To apply for the Senior Community Service Employment Program or for more information, contact the Chicago Department of Family & Support Services at 312.746.8571.

Senior Companion Program

The Senior Companion Program (SCP) was established in 1974 to provide the seniors who volunteer for this program the opportunity to make a difference in lives of seniors who are lonely and less fortunate. This program also gives the senior volunteer a presence in the community, an opportunity to be around other seniors like themselves, free annual physicals and the ability to supplement their monthly income.

These volunteers provide companionship to frail, sick or homebound seniors who require assistance to remain self-sufficient with their homes or apartments. Senior volunteers will accomplish this by reading, engaging in conversation, preapring light meals, doing light grocery shopping, accompanying seniors to doctor visits and assisting in writing letters or completing forms.

To become a Senior Companion volunteer, you must:

  • Be at least 55 years of age
  • Resident of the City of Chicago
  • Meet the Federal income requirements
  • Be able to volunteer 5 days a week, 4 hours a day (20 hrs/wk)

Program benefits:

  • A stipend of $2.65 per hour (which does not affect other benefits)
  • Carfare reimbursement (volunteers under 65 years of age)
  • Receive $2.50 for lunch every day of service
  • Annual physical
  • 40 hours of pre-service trainging
  • Monthly in-service training

Senior Companion application

For information on becoming involved with the Senior Companion Program please call 312.746.8572.