94.016: Senior Companion Program

Popular Name: SCP

Objectives: To provide income-eligible persons aged 60 and older the opportunity to provide personal assistance and companionship to other seniors through volunteer service; to provide non-medical personal support to adults who, without support, might be inappropriately placed in a long-term care facility; to help persons who have been discharged from health care facilities and other institutions; to provide companionship to persons having developmental disabilities and other special needs.



Applicant Eligibility: Grants are made only to State and local government agencies and private nonprofit organizations.

Beneficiary Eligibility: Senior Companions must be: 60 years of age or over, with an income within limits determined by the CEO of the Corporation for National Service (based on the Department of Health and Human Services Poverty Guidelines); interested in serving special-needs adults, especially the frail elderly, and must be physically, mentally, emotionally capable, and willing to serve on a person-to-person basis. (However, non-income eligible individuals may serve as non-stipended volunteers under certain conditions.) Adults served are aged 21 and over with limitations in one or more activities of daily living which place them at risk of an inappropriate placement in an institutional setting.

Credentials/Documentation: The applicant must furnish evidence of: availability of income eligible older persons, eligible volunteer stations, ability to provide sufficient matching non-Federal funds. Nonprofit organizations must furnish: proof of nonprofit status, articles of incorporation, and certification of accounting capability. Costs will be determined in accordance with OMB Circulars No. A-21 for educational institutions, No. A-87 for State and local governments, and No. A-122 for nonprofit organizations.


Preapplication Coordination: Organizations interested in exploring the possibility of developing a local SCP project should contact the appropriate Corporation for National Service State Program Office. Corporation for National Service issues application forms to applicants who have established their eligibility. The application forms (modified by Corporation for National Service with OMB approval), as furnished by Corporation for National Service and required by OMB Circular No. A-102 must be used for this program. This program is eligible for coverage under E.O. 12372, "Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs." An applicant should consult the office or official designated as the single point of contact in his or her State for more information on the process the State requires to be followed in applying for assistance, if the State has selected the program for review.

Application Procedure: Applications are submitted to the Corporation for National Service State Program Office. This program is subject to the provisions of OMB Circular Nos. A-110 for nonprofit organizations, and A-102 for State and local governments.

Award Procedure: Grants are awarded by the Corporation for National Service. States will be notified of awards through the Federal Assistance Awards Data System (FAADS).

Deadlines: Contact the Corporation for National and Community Service State Office for application deadlines.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time: 120 days after receipt of application by Corporation for National Service.

Appeals: No formal appeals for denial of initial grant application, but regulations provide for hearings on terminations and suspensions, and opportunity to show cause in cases of denial of refunding.

Renewals: Grant renewal applications usually required annually are submitted 120 days prior to the end of the current budget period.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals: 1. Demonstrated need for the program in the community to be served; 2. equitable distribution between residents of rural and urban areas; 3. opportunity for minority group participation; 4. cost-effectiveness; 5. evidence of availability of eligible volunteers; 6. workable, affordable transportation plans for volunteer transportation to and from volunteer stations; 7. community support; 8. existence of a project advisory council with appropriate individual qualifications; 9. evidence of appropriate, measurable, time-phased goals and objectives; 10. governing body or agency board which understands and endorses the nature and purpose of the program; and 11. capacity to develop sources of nonfederal support.

Examples of Funded Projects: The following exemplify SCP service: An SCP volunteer provides supportive in-house services to a stroke victim who is confined to a wheelchair, suffers from depression and needs help in daily living. Prior to the arrival of the Senior Companion, the client received no visitors and refused to leave his apartment. Just two months after he arrived, the SCP volunteer convinced his client to venture out of his apartment. Now, the client leaves his apartment for meals, exercises and participates in social events at a nearby senior center. Another Senior Companion has provided respite care to the husband of an Alzheimer's patient for over 6 years. The Senior Companion provides reality orientations, music and games for the client. Senior Companions provide services to adults, often the elderly. The following statistics suggest the scope of their activities. In fiscal year 1994, over 5,500 Senior Companions providing respite to Alzheimer's care givers. Senior Companions also served at over 200 adult day care centers; they served at 300 nursing homes and convalescent hospitals.

Range & Average of Financial Assistance: $20,732 to $402,673; $199,950.


94.016 PROGRAM ACCOMPLISHMENTS: In fiscal year 1995, funding maintained 147 federally funded projects which supported 7,908 volunteer service years (VSYs). There were 40 nonfederally funded projects which supported about 2,710 VSYs. These projects served about 33,000 clients. A total of 60 new VSYs were added through Programs of National Significance awards to 17 projects.



Type of Assistance: Project Grants.

Obligations: (Grants) FY 95 $31,244,000; FY 96 est $31,155,000; and FY 97 est $34,244,000.

Budget Account Number: 44-0103-0-1-506.

Authorization: Domestic Volunteer Service Act of 1973, as amended, Title II, Part C, Section 213, Public Law 93-113, 42 U.S.C. 5013; National and Community Service Trust Act of 1993, Public Law 103-82.

Regulations, Guidelines, & Literature: 45 CFR Part 1207; Senior Companion Program flyers; Senior Companion Program Operations Handbook, 4405.91.


Regional or Local Office: Corporation for National Service and State Program Offices, as listed in Appendix IV of the Catalog under Corporation for National Service.

Headquarters Office: Senior Companion Program, Corporation for National Service, 1201 New York Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20525. Phone: (202) 606-5000.


Formula & Matching Requirements: This program has no statutory formula. Generally, at least 10% of the total approved budget must be met by the applicant. In exceptional cases, the CEO of the Corporation for National Service may make grants in excess of 90% of total project budget costs.

Length & Time Phasing of Assistance: Grant budget periods are generally 1 year, with renewal applications submitted each year. Funds are released monthly or quarterly, depending on the size of grant.

Uses & Use Restrictions: The grants may be used for: Senior Companion stipends, transportation, physical examinations, insurance, and meals; staff salaries and fringe benefits, staff travel, equipment, space costs, etc. An amount equal to 90% of the Federal share must be used for Senior Companion direct benefits. Assignment of Senior Companions to adults may occur in residential and nonresidential facilities and in their own homes. Volunteers do not supplant hiring or displace employed workers, or impair existing contracts for service. No agency supervising volunteers shall request or receive compensation for services of the volunteers. Volunteers are not to be involved in and funds are not to be used for religious activities, labor or anti-labor organization, lobbying, or partisan or non-partisan political activities. In addition, eligible agencies or organizations may, under a Memorandum of Agreement with the Corporation for National Service, receive technical assistance and materials to aid in establishing and operating non-Corporation for National Service funded SCP projects using local funds.


Reports: Corporation for National Service Quarterly Financial Status Report, Project Progress Report, Federal Cash Transactions Report, Annual Project Profile and Volunteer Activity Survey.

Audits: Corporation for National Service grants are subject to audit by Corporation for National Service, the General Accounting Office, other Federal agencies, and contract auditors. In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133, "Audits of Institutions of Higher Education and Other Non-profit Organizations," grantees that receive financial assistance of $100,000 or more a year in Federal awards shall have an audit made in accordance with OMB Circular A-133. Grantees that receive between $25,000 and $100,000 a year in Federal awards shall have an audit made in accordance with Circular No. A-128 or A-133, or in accordance with Federal laws and regulations governing the programs in which they participate.

Records: All financial records for each budget period including receipts, disbursements, and vouchers for Federal and nonfederal costs; copies of all contracts; personnel records; and job descriptions must be available for a period of 3 years from date of submission of final Financial Status Report.

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