A Foster Care Message: Grateful Hearts in 2020

Our gratitude is immense!

By: Robert Costa Jr.

As 2020 winds down, we all know that it has been a tumultuous year. But despite the difficulties we have faced, I know there are people we can call, day or night, when a child is in trouble.


They are the caretakers who open their homes when the courts order a child removed from their home for their own protection — perhaps because a parent or guardian has been arrested for drugs or violence. They are the families who welcome a transgender teen and show the respect and understanding denied him by perhaps even his own family. And they are the individuals who walk the floor at night cradling a wailing infant who is inconsolable as she withdraws from the opioids her mother took while pregnant.


Not everyone can take a child who is traumatized, fearful and angry, and may act out at home or school. Fortunately, we do have such homes we can count on, including our community “Foster Friends”.


I marvel at our foster parents’ compassion, courage and commitment, especially during a pandemic that has limited in-person schooling, halted youth activities and restricted access to the services that foster parents and kids count on. Those same foster parents guide remote learning for challenging children who spent the first months of the COVID-19 lockdown able to see their birth parents only over Zoom. They kept them busy and engaged during the summer, when outdoor get-togethers, camps and other activities were limited, if available at all. They get them the medical care they need even when it means rushing to an emergency room in the middle of the night, risking exposure to the coronavirus. And now they are helping them cope with a new period of restrictions caused by a second wave of COVID-19 infections. There has been no opportunity for respite (for these foster parents). They have stepped up and have not waivered.


Our amazing Foster Friends, who have answered the call for help providing clothing for a newly arrived child or a special care package for a college student who is away from home for the first time.


Some good in the world doesn’t get broadcast as much as it should nor is there a way to repay the incredible dedication of our parents or the generosity of our Foster Friends, but we can humbly and thankfully say yes!, there is good in the world and we thank you for your unwavering dedication and compassion.


To all, may you have a happy and safe holiday season!


Robert Costa

Director of Foster Care Programs


If you are considering becoming a foster parent yourself, or a Foster Friend you can learn more by visiting our  Foster Care webpage. Or Foster Friends, Foster Friends of JRI Facebook Group.



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.