JRI Foster Care Blog

6 min read

Fostering Fear: How to Manage Fears about Fostering

By Courtney Edge-Mattos, LSWA on May 26, 2023

Foster care is a huge commitment. 

The approval process alone can take half a year.  It is the embodiment of the old adage “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”

Yet many people never take that first step.  Wonderful, stable, emotionally healthy, kind, well-meaning, resilient people remain frozen in place- interested, but unable to bring themselves to hit send on the application.  Other times, they send and when the Homefinder contacts

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4 min read

May is National Foster Care Month

By Courtney Edge-Mattos, LSWA on May 15, 2023

It is a month to learn more about foster care in our communities, to understand the challenges within the foster care system, understand the challenges faced by families whose children enter foster care, and considering how we can make improvements.

Many folks consider fostering and some apply. We would love you to apply, so if you feel that’s your path forward, let’s chat! However, fostering isn’t a fit for everyone. Worry not, foster friends- there’s

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6 min read

What to Expect When You’re Expecting: Foster Care Edition

By Courtney Edge-Mattos, LSWA on April 17, 2023

You’ve submitted your application, your background checks have been run, and now a person is coming to your home to begin the assessment process!

This is a huge step in the right direction, but a bit anxiety provoking.  What will this social worker be looking for?  What if there is a problem?  How should you act?

Let’s take a walk through a home inspection visit, Foster Friends.

*Before we get going, please note that

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11 min read

Supporting Grieving Children in Foster Care

By Courtney Edge-Mattos, LSWA on February 28, 2023

Foster care is born out of tragedy and trauma. A child who enters foster care, whether it is shortly after birth or during the late teen years, has become separated from the familiar.  Many people first think only of the loss of one’s parents and siblings, but as we peel back the layers, we realize that children and youth in foster care suffer a myriad of losses simply by entering care.  Aside from losing immediate

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3 min read

Foster Parenting: Small Stuff is Big Stuff

By Courtney Edge-Mattos on February 16, 2023

The girls’ long-term foster parent had an emergency and had to go to be with her family.  She did not know how long she would be gone.  The girls, elementary school students, had developed a strong bond with Foster Mama and felt safe with her.  They suddenly felt scared.  Where were they going to go?  Were they going to see her again?  We cobbled together a respite plan and moved them within hours.  It wasn’t

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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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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.

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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.