JRI Foster Care Blog

2 min read

Your Crown

By Angela Navarro-Santiago on June 28, 2024

As you walk into my home for the first time, I watch as you tentatively inspect your room deciding where to put your shoes and which one of your beloved stuffed animals you would like to sleep with. I help you put your clothes in the dresser and pick out some comfortable pajamas. As you lay your head down on your pillow, which is covered by a cotton pillowcase don’t think twice as to what

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2 min read

Faces of Foster Care: Milo and Allison

By Courtney Edge-Mattos on May 30, 2024

He was so small!

Allison’s hands fluttered over of him, not sure where to touch.  He had a tube going through his nose and down the back of his throat, allowing him to eat.  He had a respirator to breathe, which he was weaning off of but still needed most of the time.  He had bandages on his legs where his IVs had been placed. 

The nurses took time and demonstrated how to hold him

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2 min read

Faces of Foster Care: Dylan, Aaliyah, and the Lopes Family

By Angela Navarro-Santiago on May 30, 2024

Stacy and James Lopes were empty nesters when they decided to foster again. They had previously fostered and took guardianship of their son’s teenage friend years prior. As a stay at home mother, Stacy enjoyed being present for her biological children as they were growing up and felt she and James still had the ability to make a difference in a youth’s life.

After a couple of months, the Lopes’ home ultimately opened in January

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3 min read

Faces of Foster Care: Hunter and Ray

By Courtney Edge-Mattos on May 30, 2024

It was his “Second Act.”  Ray’s son was an adult and had moved out.  His business was steady and thriving and when he came home, the house was quiet.  He remembered the joy of taking his son camping, going to family picnics, and attending sporting events.  Every day he passed by the empty bedroom and felt a void.  One day, an ad highlighting the need for foster parents caught his eye. Ray filled out the

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4 min read

Foster Parenting: What a Child Needs

By Courtney Edge-Mattos on May 10, 2024

Many folks want to foster, but they are not sure they have what it takes.  They question, am I enough?  Will I be able to do this?  Do I have what a child needs?

Let’s explore what kids in care need.  If you think it sounds like you, that might be a sign it is time to apply!

  1. A Steady Presence: Children and youth in care have been through a lot.  While
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5 min read

Fostering Support: Donation Drives

By Courtney Edge-Mattos on May 7, 2024

Foster parenting is not a fit for every person.  Not everyone is in the right stage of life, has a schedule with the needed flexibility, or has the space within their home to add another person.  Not everyone’s household members agree with the idea of fostering.  Not everyone has the health and wellbeing to commit to foster care.

While fostering isn’t for everyone, there is nearly no limit to who can contribute to the foster

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4 min read

Foster Care Stipend

By Courtney Edge-Mattos, LSWA on March 15, 2024

Is the foster care stipend taxable? Is it considered income? What is it for?

Money is generally an uncomfortable topic, made more uncomfortable when discussing foster care. Well, foster care is full of uncomfortable conversations so let’s dive in together!

What is the foster care stipend?

The foster care stipend is money received by a caregiver to provide care for a child or youth in the custody of a state child welfare agency (in Massachusetts

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3 min read

Our Favorite Four Letter Word: Teen

By Courtney Edge-Mattos on November 17, 2023

Teen…Our favorite four letter word…

Teen…Seven years of growth, excitement, fear, expectations, and change.

Teen…A stage of development not unlike that of a toddler, but in a frame closer to an adult.

Teen…Our most in-need population.

Recently, a person on our social media feed sparked conversation about teens.  They made the standard statement that teens are tough.  True.  All ages and stages have joys and challenges.  Teen challenges are notorious and often have larger consequences

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6 min read

JRI's Foster Care Youth College-Bound

By Bob Unger and Barbara LeBlanc-Unger on September 12, 2023

Riley Borden was 14 and in middle school when the state Department of Children & Families removed her and her younger brother from their father’s home and placed her in the first of what ultimately would be seven foster homes.

It was a hard time, but Riley did not let it deter her from planning a successful future — a future that will include going to college in September, placing her among the fewer than

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3 min read

Why do people choose to foster?

By Courtney Edge-Mattos, LSWA on June 20, 2023

The reasons are varied, but generally boil down to these five points.


choose to foster

Be a Light:

You’ve gone through hard things and had someone who helped you come out the other side.  Now you want to pay it forward!  The flip side- you went through hard things and wish you’d had someone to guide you.  Now you are going to be the person you wish you’d had!

*Read “The Lighthouse Effect” by Steve Pemberton!


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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.


  • 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.