Meet JRI's Service Navigator

Our Navigator personally answers questions and talks with you about resources that may be available in the community to meet your individualized needs. If you have any questions about our programs or services, or aren't sure what you need, contact our Service Navigator, Rachel Arruda, and we will get in touch with you as soon as possible.

Rachel has been a part of the JRI team since January, 2000. For over 20 years, Rachel has been working in the field of human services assisting families with accessing and navigating services. Rachel received her Bachelors degree in psychology and Masters Degree in Public Administration from Bridgewater State University. She was promoted in July 2005 to Family Networks Program Director where she closely worked with the Department of Children Families for 10 years ensuring that children and families received the highest quality of individualized services ranging from community based through residential care. Rachel is very dedicated to helping the individuals she works with and is committed to improving the lives of children and families. Rachel’s passion for creative service programming inspires her in her role as JRI Service Navigator.

Research and Publications

Joe SpinazzolaJRI’s Institute for Research, Inquiry & Evaluation (JRI-IRIE) is dedicated to advancing knowledge, clinical practice and policy in social services. Under the  stewardship of its Director, Dr. Joseph Spinazzola,  IRIE promulgates cutting-edge research and clinical practice innovation through scholarly publications showcasing JRI’s diverse array of youth, adult and family services. Research projects draw upon JRI’s comprehensive, multimodal longitudinal clinical quality improvement database (CATS: Client Assessment Track System). In the service of these goals, IRIE periodically convenes professional forums,  think  tanks and conferences with multidisciplinary practitioners, policy-makers and thought leaders, and also spearheads white papers and peer-review journal special issues. IRIE embraces the inherent complexity of contemporary social services by eschewing a narrow focus on a single area of focus, instead adopting a wide vista from which to home in on the most pressing topics facing social services provision today.  This approach is guided by our agency’s central mission to advance social justice and ameliorate chronic health disparities by improving access and quality of services to individuals, families and communities in greatest need. Accordingly, scholarly inquiry in IRIE is heavily influenced by an awareness of intersectionality:  namely that effective social services must attend to the inherent interplay between the difficulties experienced by vulnerable individuals and communities and social constructs such as race, class, gender and sexual orientation, and must continually grapple with understanding and challenging societal structures of oppression such as discrimination and poverty within which human adversity and suffering occur and perpetuate and resilience becomes threatened.
 
Most recently, IRIE produced a special issue in the Journal of Family Violence on residential treatment of traumatized youth; hosted a regional conference on advancement of care across behavioral and medical health, education, justice and faith based continua for LGBTQ+ and gender nonconforming (GNC) youth and youth adults; and generated scholarly journal manuscripts on innovative treatment approaches for high-risk youth (complex trauma-informed equine therapy) and on bridging continuous quality improvement and trauma-informed care (development of and preliminary findings from JRI’s CATS database). Upcoming projects include producing a special issue in the Academy of Children’s Residential Center’s official journal on complex-trauma-informed residential services; a scholarly manuscript on complex trauma-informed LGBTQ+ GNC services across the care continuum; and a scholarly manuscript on Building Communities of Care, our evidence-informed, trauma-focused approach to strength-based residential milieu operations and youth behavior management.
 
IRIE maintains academic affiliations with Suffolk University’s Department of Psychology and Simmons College’s School of Social Work. IRIE periodically accepts visiting fellows or faculty members on a one-to-two year basis who demonstrate complementary areas of focus and expertise and possess their own means of funding. For more information about IRIE, its projects and upcoming activities, contact Joseph Spinazzola, Ph.D., jspinazzola@jri.org.

 
JRI-IRIE Faculty and Staff


Joseph Spinazzola, Ph.D., Director
Research Professor of Clinical Practice, Department of Psychology, Suffolk University
 
Hilary Hodgdon, Ph.D., Assistant Director
Assistant Research Professor of Clinical Practice, Department of Psychology, Suffolk University
 
Lia Martin, Ph.D., Associate Director of Quality Management
Affiliate Research Professor, Simmons School of Social Work
 
Kari Beserra, LMHC, Senior Vice President
Affiliate Research Professor, Simmons School of Social Work

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