ERIC Number: ED346978
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1992
Reference Count: N/A
Family Friends: Heart Medicine Money Can't Buy.
National Council on the Aging, Inc., Washington, DC.
In 1986, the National Council on Aging developed the Family Friends program, which brings older people into the homes of children with disabilities and chronic illnesses. Charter programs were implemented in eight cities. These programs are still operating, and programs in other cities are in various stages of development. Since 1989, Family Friends has diversified to serve the rural poor and homeless people. In 1991, a total of 1,200 senior volunteers were matched with participating families. The volunteer provides social and emotional support to the family and child; tutors the child; takes the child on recreational outings; serves as an advocate and a source of information for the family; teaches the child self-help skills; and provides child care relief for parents. Each local program has: (1) a project director, who is a trained professional with experience with "medically fragile" children and their families; (2) an advisory committee of community leaders, health professionals, and parents; (3) volunteers; and (4) participating children and families. Establishing a Family Friends program involves recruiting, training, and supervising volunteers; selecting families to participate in the program; matching volunteers and children; scheduling visits of volunteers to families; fundraising; and promoting and evaluating the program. A list of local Family Friends programs is appended. (BC)
Descriptors: Adult Child Relationship, Chronic Illness, Disabilities, Family Problems, Family Programs, Helping Relationship, Home Visits, Intergenerational Programs, Middle Aged Adults, Older Adults, Program Descriptions, Social Support Groups, Volunteer Training, Volunteers, Young Children
National Council on the Aging, Inc., 409 Third Street, S.W., Washington, DC 20024 (free).
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, New Brunswick, NJ.
Authoring Institution: National Council on the Aging, Inc., Washington, DC.