Welcome to the California Department of Developmental Services
DDS Logo California Department of Developmental Services
1600 9th Street
P. O. Box 944202
Sacramento, CA 94244-2020

Info: (916) 654-1690
TTY: (916) 654-2054

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Foster Grandparent and Senior Companion Programs

The Department of Developmental Services (DDS) started their first Foster Grandparent Program in 1967 at Pacific State Hospital which is now Lanterman Developmental Center. Currently, DDS has Foster Grandparents serving out of Central Valley Regional Center, Fairview Developmental Center, Kern Regional Center, Lanterman Developmental Center, Porterville Developmental Center, San Andreas Regional Center, Sonoma Developmental Center, Tri-Counties Regional Center and Valley Mountain Regional Center. This program establishes person-to-person relationships between low income seniors, age 55 years or older, and children with intellectual disabilities. Foster Grandparents provide a lifetime of experience to the children they mentor and assist the children to more fully participate in school and daily living activities.

The Senior Companion Program, started in 1978, shares the same philosophy and goals as Foster Grandparents however, Senior Companions mentor adults, 21 years of age or older, with intellectual disabilities. Senior Companions provide one-on-one mentoring to adults residing at the developmental centers and in various community settings.

The Foster Grandparent and Senior Companion Programs benefit all parties. Eligible volunteers receive:

  • A tax-free stipend;
  • Partial reimbursement for travel expenses;
  • A meal each day they volunteer or partial reimbursement toward a meal;
  • An annual physical;
  • 20 hours orientation training and on-going training; and
  • Recognition for volunteer service

Volunteering assists the seniors in remaining physically and mentally active while providing valuable community service. In addition, the children and adults with intellectual disabilities they serve receive mentoring that assists them to achieve their physical, emotional and social goals.

For further information about the Foster Grandparent and Senior Companion Programs, contact:

Department of Developmental Services
Foster Grandparent/Senior Companion Unit
1600 9th Street, MS 3-25
Sacramento, CA 95814

Wendy Wolfe
(916) 654-2760
Last Updated: 12/19/2014