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Children and Family Resource Services

Children and Family Resource Services (CFRS)

CFRS is a non-profit organization 501(c)(3) under the umbrella of the Santa Barbara County Education Office. We have two programs within our department:

Our programs  provide services to families and children living within the boundaries of  Santa Barbara County Schools. Services include but are not limited to parent education, teacher education; and support, access and funding for health screenings and oral health, including orthodontia. Our program also offers health, safety and social support services to early childhood education and care programs, referral for enrollment of children and families into government-sponsored health plans, the integration of health promotores into public and private agency outreach efforts and service delivery systems, as well as coordination of the SB County Promotores Network, and referral for support to other community partners. 

Our Mission:
Provide high-quality, family-focused, strength-based services to build resilient communities throughout Santa Barbara County.


Health Linkages Oral Health 

Health Linkages provides oral health education, identifies dental disease, identifies orthodontia needs, and provides treatment services to low-income children in targeted subsidized preschool, child care, and elementary and middle school programs in Santa Barbara County. Health Linkages staff also provides support to medical and dental providers to implement fluoride varnish applications within their practices.  The Health Linkages program coordinates the fluoride varnish application for several school districts, migrant education, and special community events. Fluoride Varnish applications are provided two times a year for state preschools, children centers, school readiness and Head Start programs, and kindergarten students at targeted elementary schools.     

Partnership with the the Santa Barbara County Promotores Network

Based on a strong, longstanding partnership with the Santa Barbara County Promotores Network/Red de Promotores, Health Linkages engages a team of 65+ community health workers (Promotores) across Santa Barbara County who initiate and strengthen the links between health, safety, social services, and education. Santa Barbara County Promotores Network members understand and respect underserved, marginalized, immigrant communities and cultures; Health Linkages liaises between the Promotores and organizations seeking to engage and assist these communities in a meaningful and respectful manner. With Health Linkages as the administrative backbone, Promotores enhance systems to improve community awareness about health and social service issues impacting them.

Upon identifying gaps in health and social services in Santa Barbara County, Health Linkages works alongside the Promotores to plan and organize programs countywide to address needs and share resources. These programs are research-informed, culturally relevant, and activities are monitored and evaluated. Health Linkages staff liaise with Santa Barbara County Education Office (SBCEO) staff, regional and national organizations, and Promotores. Affiliated Promotores are recruited for specific tasks; receive general and in-depth thematic training, relevant health and educational materials; and are paid as independent contractors through the SBCEO and Children & Family Resource Services. The program is led by a manager and two regional coordinators, all bilingual in English and Spanish. The work is supported by over a dozen funding streams, including local, regional, state, and federal grants, as well as contracts with government, non-profit, and for-profit organizations.  

Example collaborating organizations and current/upcoming projects include:

  • Alpha Family Resource Center
    Supporting families challenged by intellectual and developmental disabilities
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Partners for Vaccine Equity
    Improving COVID prevention, vaccination, testing, and treatment access and uptake
  • Cottage Health Center for Population Health
    Assessing community health needs and increasing Spanish virtual care
  • Foodbank of Santa Barbara County
    Offering nutrition education and facilitating CalFresh (SNAP food stamp) enrollment
  • Fund for Santa Barbara
    Equipping agricultural workers with knowledge of pre- and post-natal risks and rights
  • Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District
    Building awareness of wildfire smoke texting and website
  • Santa Barbara County Education Office Partners in Education
    Connecting families with access to digital tools, connectivity, TA, and resources
  • Santa Barbara County Education Office Early Care and Education
    Increasing car seat safety, connecting with Juvenile Court & Community Schools parents
  • Santa Barbara County Department of Behavior Wellness
    Providing digital/technology education and resources to recent/expecting mothers
  • Santa Barbara County Department of Behavior Wellness
    Facilitating health navigation and stressbuster resilience for emotional wellbeing
  • Santa Barbara County Planning & Development Long Range Planning
    Long range planning for climate change, resilience, environmental justice, and housing
  • Santa Barbara County Resource Recovery & Waste Management Division
    Increasing residential composting and sustainable waste management
  • Santa Barbara Foundation
    Developing community health worker/promotores and health navigator workforces
  • Santa Barbara County Public Health Department
    Preventing tobacco use, promoting cessation, reducing secondhand smoke
  • Savie Health
    Encouraging telehealth primary, behavioral, and psychiatric care in uninsured


As of June 2023, this program is no longer offered by SBCEO. We apologize for any inconveniences. Please click HERE for resources and recommendations.


MaryEllen Rehse, MSW
CFRS Administrator/Director
Office: (805) 964-4710, ext. 4465
Fax: (805) 682-4643

Darnyl Dal Bon
Office Assistant
Office: (805) 964-4710, ext. 4453
Fax: (805) 682-4643

Josefa Rios
Health Advocate/Lead Promotora South County
Office: (805) 964-4710, ext. 4404

Children and Family Resource Services
3970 La Colina Road, Suite 6
Santa Barbara, CA 93110