It is the mission of Royal Family Kids (RFK) to help transform communities by interrupting cycles of neglect, abuse and abandonment of children in the foster care system. We fulfill our mission by providing an array of programs, all directed toward changing the trajectory of young lives which usually include a combination of academic failure, drug abuse, teen pregnancy, sex trafficking, homelessness, and incarceration.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Currently, there are an estimated 442,995 children in the foster care system in the United States
Due to the opioid epidemic, the number of children in the U.S. foster care system has increased each of the past four years
Over 70 percent of female foster youth, who “age out” of the system, will become pregnant by 21
What does RFK do, specifically?
Many children in the foster care system have had few positive experiences. Temporary guardians are often unable to provide for the kind of nurture and care children need.
RFK provides programs that give these children wholesome activities, encouragement, role modeling, and most of all, love.
Specifically, programs consist of one-on-one mentoring, mentoring clubs, five-day camps, as well as community development assistance that varies depending on circumstances and location.
What exactly is a “foster child” and “foster care?”
Foster care (also known as out-of-home care) is a temporary service provided by states for these children that, for safety reasons, can no longer live with their parents.
In every case, children in the foster care system have suffered from neglect. Often they have experienced abuse (physical and/or sexual). In addition, all have experienced abandonment because their biological parents were unable, unwilling, or unfit to care for them.
Where does RFK work?
Currently we work in 43 states, 494 counties, as well as 6 countries.
How many children does RFK reach though its programs each year?
Currently, we work with approximately 10,000 children annually.
How is RFK able to reach so many children?
We are a volunteer-based organization consisting of approximately 250 “chapters” throughout the country. Each chapter director and volunteer staff are primarily mobilized within churches. Community partnerships are formed with local businesses, schools, and other relevant organizations with a similar vision to reach neglected, abused, and abandoned children.
How many volunteers operate RFK programs?
Currently, approximately 15,000 volunteers serve the children we reach.
How is RFK introduced to foster children?
Each chapter works directly with the local Child Protective Services agency to locate foster children and facilitate their participation in our programs.
Is RFK a “Christian organization?”
We are a non-profit 501(c)3 organization founded by Christians. There are nearly 45 verses in the Bible about “orphans” and “the fatherless.” Our leadership is committed to our Statement of Faith.
Do your programs proselytize?
No. Our volunteers are trained to ensure that children are never coerced toward any sectarian “conversion.”
RFK’s programs are not about “church programs for church kids.” They are about “community programs for community kids.” Our counselors do not preach; we allow the safety, the support, and the surroundings, to speak to the children in life-changing moments.
Furthermore, we utilize the most current best practices (such as Trust-Based Relational Intervention®) within the professional psychological community associated with dealing with children who are victims trauma.
What is the history of RFK?
RFK started in 1985 when Wayne Tesch, a children’s pastor in Costa Mesa, CA had a vision to give foster children positive experiences which their biological were unable to provide. The first camp was hosted in 1985. Soon, camps established across the United States.
Out of a vision to provide a continuum of care — and because of the demand of children desiring an ongoing relationship with their camp counselors — yearlong mentoring programs were launched in 2009. This included both mentoring clubs and one-on-one mentoring.
How do you know your programs make a difference?
Reports from caregivers and child protective agencies alike have noted that RFK programs have improved the child’s self worth. There’s evidence that the children are performing better in school and that a single moment in a child’s life where they feel valued and loved can change the trajectory of their life.
Then when mentoring programs and the continuum of care are put in place, children are able to see there is a community of people looking out for them and helping them to break the cycle of the abuse they suffered.
What about adoption and fostering?
Though RFK is not an adoption agency, each year nearly 150 children are adopted or fostered by our volunteers.