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.

English Chinese (Simplified) Haitian Creole Hindi Japanese Portuguese Russian Spanish

JRI Foster Care Blog

3 min read

An Inspiration and Reminder of the Power of Our Presence

By Robert Costa on September 10, 2019

Three years ago on the advice of a co-worker, I read the book A Chance in the World, written by Steve Pemberton and the book was both riveting and eye opening for all of us that work with children. I also had the opportunity to listen to Mr. Pemberton speak in person and was amazed at his resilience and description of the experiences that he had, while placed in foster care, as well as his

Read More
3 min read

A School Year Wish

By Courtney Edge-Mattos on August 29, 2019

It is that time of year again.  Busses wheeze through neighborhoods, opening doors with a groan as students clatter into seats.  Playgrounds burble with excited shrieks and laughter as recess again takes over.  Lockers slam and reminders to walk, not run ring through previously silent hallways.  School is back in session.    

School has a unique place in a child’s life.  It is routine, predictable, regulated.  There is something very known about school.  Even a

Read More
4 min read

Sink to Swim

By Courtney Edge-Mattos on August 15, 2019

His legs are visibly shaking.   There is a voice, off to the side, encouraging him, giving him pointers, supporting him.  Below is a woman, arms open, ready to catch him.  The child lurches to his knees, clinging to the diving board.  Eventually, he slowly lowers himself into the pool. 

In the next frame, he is taller, leaner.  His goggles are positioned on his face just so.  He strides with confidence to the end of the

Read More
4 min read

Foster Care with a Partner: Can one partner be the only foster parent?

By Courtney Edge-Mattos on August 8, 2019

Foster Care with a Partners: Can one partner be the only foster parent?

From time to time, we receive calls and contacts from people interested in becoming foster parents, but their partners are not interested in doing so.  Often, the partner is willing to let the caller try fostering, but does not plan to be involved and is not planning to be an active participant in the fostering process.  What do we say?

Fostering is a

Read More
6 min read

Taking Time: The Right to Respite for Foster Families

By Courtney Edge-Mattos on July 23, 2019

“Mommy Wine Time” seems an increasingly common piece of our culture.  Memes about the frustrations of parenting populate social media.  Mom's Night Out Groups are popping up.  Man Caves are a thing.  Parents are tired.  Parents are venting. 

And there’s nothing wrong with that.  It is a pressure release valve and we all need that.

Recognizing when you need a break, recognizing when things are hard, recognizing when you may LOVE the little people you

Read More
8 min read

Aging Out: Changing the Statistics for Youth Exiting Foster Care

By Courtney Edge-Mattos on July 18, 2019

How do you get electricity for your new apartment?  How do you open an account with a cable provider?  How do you open a bank account?  What is a credit score?  How do you know which credit card is right for you?  How do student loans work?  How do you find a career and know if it is right for you?  What is a livable wage in your area and what jobs will provide that?

Read More
5 min read

Self Esteem and Foster Parents

By Courtney Edge-Mattos on June 21, 2019

It is an undertaking that can be hard on the heart.  When we mention good self-esteem as a quality we seek for potential foster parents, people often give us a quizzical look.  Why would that matter?  Well, let’s explore that.

Gaining Contol

When kiddos lack control in life, they often seek to find ways to create control.  For children placed in foster care, all of the control of their lives has been stripped away.  Where

Read More
2 min read

Play

By Courtney Edge-Mattos on June 20, 2019

The sun hung in the sky longer.  School was out, energy was up.  Staff members donned on sneakers and athletic clothing to prepare to keep up.  A pack of little fellows raced and chased, playing tag, police officer, and superheroes.  The swings were kept in business and the slide shot giggling guests down to the woodchips below.  A pre-teen caught toads, slugs, worms, and a snail, showing everyone her finds.  An infant watched it all

Read More
4 min read

He Needs Us

By Courtney Edge-Mattos on June 14, 2019

They arrived home in tears.

“He needs us, Miss J, he needs to be here!!!”

Our foster mom, Miss J, didn’t know what words to say to comfort the sobbing little girls in her kitchen.  CFC parents are limited to two placements, so the girls’ brother was placed elsewhere. 

The visit had been horrible, worse than usual.  Their mom, pregnant with a new child, explained she wasn’t taking them back, she was signing over her

Read More
8 min read

Understanding Different Kinds of Foster Care

By Courtney Edge-Mattos on May 9, 2019

Foster care is a confusing world.  There are a lot of agencies, systems, and individuals involved.  Even within the foster care system itself, there are confusing pieces to navigate.  One of the first questions to ask is the type of foster care you are prepared to provide.  What are the differences?  What are the similarities?  What is right for you?

*Please be aware, this is bring written from the perspective of someone working within

Read More

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

Read More

Helping Hands

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

Read More
 

@JRISocialJstce