The Club Resource Family Association Student Support Team (RFASST) was started on the San Marcos High School campus during the fall of 2015. Their mission statement is: “RFASST aims to care for and support foster youth, to increase retention of foster parents through sustained support to foster families, and to educate students about the needs of the community and encourage them to become future foster parents themselves.” English teacher and foster parent Mr. Koroshec founded the club on campus with the initial goal of aiding the Resource Family Association and Foster Kinship Continuing Education. After receiving a grant, the club expanded, and was able to provide even more support to resource families within Santa Barbara. They also began to get students CPR certified and have them provide childcare at monthly Parents in Progress meetings. The club grew and now has members in all four grades who are excited to help.
“Our club has created a strong community between high school students and resource families,” said senior and member of the club Jackie Moreno. “While this allows high school students to act upon their drive to give back to others, it also provides stability for some children who have never had this sort of consistency.”
Jackie shared updates on the Club’s current focuses and goals this year and what events they have recently held. Currently, demand for foster family support is extremely high and the club is trying to expand into other counties and school districts. RFASST attempts to be inclusive to all the families who need help, stretching and utilizing all of their resources. A new development this year, RFASST has changed its different events and placed them into three categories: Parents Night Out, Story Night, and Meet Ups. Parents night out offers a night of childcare for about three hours where parents can drop their kids off and relax to take a well deserved break. Story Night also provides free childcare and the parents are able to come hear stories about other foster families and the hardships they have been able to overcome. Meet Ups are outside events that are free for all foster families that wish to attend. This past October, a group of RFASST students lead an event at the pumpkin patch where all of the kids got to bring home their own pumpkin. An Ice in Paradise event was held in February, and everyone received free tickets to skate. This May, the final event of the year will be a celebration at the Moxi museum.
“I have been a part of this club for the past four years and I have made amazing connections with many of the children that I have met, and have come to know Mr. Koroshec very well,” said Jackie. “He is an amazing mentor who has changed my life and will continue to do so with this club in the future.”
The clubs goal to expand indicates a bright future for the collaboration between high school students and the resource family communities.