The Foster Grandparent Program, originated in 1965, as a cooperative effort between the Office of Economic Opportunity and the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. On July 1, 1971, the program was transferred to ACTION, the Federal Domestic Volunteer Agency. In October 1993, ACTION became part of the Corporation for National and Community Service.
The South East Texas Regional Planning Commission sponsors the Southeast Texas Foster Grandparent Program. Locally, our program was established in March 1989. With the collaboration of the then Chief Probation Officer James Martin, Roxanne Smith Parks, Katie Durio, Joann Block, and Don Kelley our program was started. Since its inception twenty-six years ago, FGP has had three directors – Roxanne Smith Parks, Corine Jones, and Tyronna McKenzie.
Currently, the SETX FGP is funded for 88 VSYs, (Volunteer Service Years) to augment (but not replace) the professional staff at more than 36 area sites covering Hardin, Jefferson, and Orange counties. Grandparents receive a small non-taxable stipend that allows them to volunteer at no cost to themselves.