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.

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JRI Foster Care Blog

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?

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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

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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

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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

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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

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5 min read

May is National Foster Care Month

By Courtney Edge-Mattos on May 2, 2019

If you follow us on social media (which you probably do, if you are reading this), you know that May is a precious month to us.  May is National Foster Care Month.  It is a month during which the community is reminded of this largely silent population that lives hiding in plain sight. 

Why May?

May is the fifth month of our calendar.  It hides right in the calendar, much like foster families live right

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6 min read

Supporting Our Foster Parents (Part Two)

By Courtney Edge-Mattos on April 25, 2019

As we discussed in our previous blog, supporting our foster parents is necessary.  We believe that in order to serve our children and youth in the best way possible, we must serve our parents to the best of our ability.  Over the years, we have tried different techniques.  Some have been effective and some have not, but here are a few more of the things we try to do to make the life of a

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6 min read

Supporting Our Foster Parents (Part One)

By Courtney Edge-Mattos on April 18, 2019

As an agency, our responsibility is to support our foster parents, so that they can support the children entrusted to their care.  It has been repeatedly demonstrated that the more support we give, the stronger and better equipped our parents are to manage difficult situations and support a child’s healing process.  Here are is Part 1 of JRI Foster Care and Adoption’s key supports:

Foster Parent Support Group

Ten times a month in four different locations, we

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5 min read

Choosing a Foster Care Agency

By Courtney Edge-Mattos on April 11, 2019

You do an online search.  “Foster Care Agencies Near Me.”  Four or five names pop up on your screen.  You pause and start to wonder.  Does it matter which you choose?  Don’t they all do the same thing?  How do you know which program is right for you?

Interview Agencies

Just like anything, every agency has its own personality.  Call a few agencies.  Do they answer your call right away?  Do they sound friendly?  Do

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2 min read

Bedtime Stories

By Courtney Edge-Mattos on March 7, 2019

The sound of my mom’s voice is just the most soothing sound in the world.  It hits a different place in my brain, has a physiological effect on my body.  One of the most amazing things she did when I was a little girl (and there were just so many…I am so fortunate that I was placed in her capable hands when I entered this world) was reading to me and my sisters. 

Every night,

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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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