JRI Foster Care Blog

2 min read

Faces of Foster Care: Jazzlynn

By Courtney Edge-Mattos on November 18, 2022

Foster care is a large, complex system.  It is important to remember that individual lives and stories make up foster care.  Please take a moment to hear Jazzlynn's story, one of the many Faces of Foster Care. 

Jazzlynn, or "Jazzy" for short, is 15 years old. She's been in and out of foster care for the majority of her life. She doesn't remember all of the schools she's been to or the names of the

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2 min read

Foster Friends: Join Us for "Winter Crafts and Apps" Event

By Courtney Edge-Mattos on November 14, 2022

We live a step ahead in foster care (whenever possible- we also fly by the seat of our pants a good deal of the time as plan A yields to plans B, C, D, etc). 

Though it is just November, our eyes are trained on December, a month of so many holidays, celebrations, and gatherings.

This year, we invite you, our Foster Friends of JRI, to set a festive tone for the season.  On December

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3 min read

Foster Care: Season of Giving

By Courtney Edge-Mattos on November 7, 2022

Tables laden with wares form a rectangle.  At the center, our staff members stand wearing brightly colored, holiday-themed clothing.  Ugly sweaters have found their home here, much to the delight of our young patrons.

Each table has a theme.  Household items here, baby toys there, beauty products on one table, sports memorabilia on another.  Young people start lining up well in advance of the opening.  They clutch their tickets in eager hands and crane their

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4 min read

Faces of Foster Care: Elijah

By Courtney Edge-Mattos on October 18, 2022

Elijah is six years old.  His birthday was last month and he had a Pokemon themed party.  Not many kids went, but it was still fun.  He’s going to dress up as Flying Charmander for Halloween.  Elijah can tell you all about Pokemon and every character.  He loves to play the online games and has every book he can find about them.  He watches the cartoons every chance he gets.

Elijah has lived with the

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4 min read

Foster Care Support Group: Stepping Back to See In

By Courtney Edge-Mattos on September 22, 2022

“Oh, nothing going in my house, just the usual.  I don’t need to take up everyone’s time,” she said.  Her voice was upbeat.

As a Homefinder, it often surprises the families when I know about the goings on in their households. 

“I think you’ve got something pretty big coming up…Aren’t you taking guardianship of Big C?”

“Oh, that…Yep, that is coming up.  But it’s no big thing,” she deflects.  Foster parents so often shy away

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7 min read

Foster Care: Stock Up for Success

By Courtney Edge-Mattos on September 8, 2022

Every new placement will need something.  It is a true roll of the dice regarding what that might be, but it usually involves a trip to a pharmacy or department store, often at an inconvenient hour.

As fostering families become more seasoned, they prepare in advance so some things are just an arms length away.  Here are some of the top suggestions our all-star parents stock up on for success when a new placement arrives

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5 min read

Foster Care Licensing: Streamline Your Process

By Courtney Edge-Mattos on August 17, 2022

It takes folks an average of 6-9 months to become licensed for foster care and there are outliers who may take even more time.  Why so long?

Well, there are a number of factors.  Every foster care applicant has to complete MAPP class, which is 10 weeks long (one three hour session per week for ten weeks).  If you can’t attend the soonest MAPP class, it likely won’t be offered again for a few months

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4 min read

Foster Care Youth: Their Hero

By Courtney Edge-Mattos on August 3, 2022

For their whole lives, he’s been their hero.  They looked to him when they were unsure of where to go next.  They looked to him for reassurance.  They looked to him to chart their course forward.

At the end of the summer, their hero will disappear.  He’s ready to be a hero to more than his family.  He will enter boot camp and take an oath to protect and serve his nation.  For Brave R

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2 min read

Foster Care Licensing: Commit to Commitment

By Courtney Edge-Mattos on June 23, 2022

“The hoops are too much for me to go through for me to offer such a kind thing.”

I draw my breath in and let it out slowly. 

Another applicant bites the dust.

Another home does not open their door.

Another child is left waiting.

Foster parent licensing is a process.  It takes time and effort.  Completing an application, running background checks and fingerprints, home interviews, MAPP class, CPR and First Aid, obtaining references...I know

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3 min read

Foster Care: The Need is Now

By Courtney Edge-Mattos on June 1, 2022

He left from school.  He had his backpack and his homework.  He didn't get to hug his mom.

She left from home.  There wasn’t time to pack much, they had to get going.  She wasn’t sure what to grab, so she just stuffed things into the garbage bag blindly.  Turned out to be clothing from last season.  She will have to wear a sweater and long pants tomorrow, even though it will be 84 degrees

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Foster Care...Foster Hope

A Blog to Support Foster Parents

Our foster care program is rooted in the principle that every child deserves to feel safe, to be nurtured, and to thrive. Our foster families and staff are committed to maximizing each child's potential within our stable and loving foster homes.

Remember:

  • Stable homes nurture neglected children.
  • Compassionate homes mend painful pasts.
  • YOUR home can change the life of a child.

If you are interested in becoming a foster parent, please complete our foster care interest form.

Featured Posts

Preparing for An Arrival

You’ve taken the classes.  You’ve been fingerprinted, interviewed, reference-checked.  You’ve watched the “Removed” movie fourteen times.  You’ve read blogs and

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Helping Hands

There are so many wonderful people out there who want to support the children and families with whom we work. 

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JRI Service Navigator

Do you have a question about JRI services?

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.