JRI/COVID-19 Navigator

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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.

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JRI Foster Care Blog

2 min read

The Most Frightening Word

By Courtney Edge-Mattos on August 4, 2017

"Teenagers"…Breaths catch, hearts splutter, shoulders stiffen. That single word is one of the most heart-stopping words in the English language. It is the developmental stage every parent nervously jokes about and anxiously anticipates. Couple the adolescent years with the challenges of foster care and you have a fearsome combination…Or do you?

The newspapers are filled to the brim with articles about the opioid epidemic and the soaring numbers of infants entering care directly from the

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3 min read

Doorsteps and Dishwashers

By Courtney Edge-Mattos on July 27, 2017

You enjoy a lovely meal at a friend’s home.  The food was delicious, the conversation delightful.  The host rises to clear the table and you, excellent manners in hand, leap up to help.

“Oh, thank you so much,” the homeowner says with a smile.  “I would really appreciate it if you could help load the dishwasher.”

As he hands you plates, cups, bowls, and silverware, you arrange them neatly in rows.  Cups in front, plates

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1 min read

More than a Statistic

By Courtney Edge-Mattos on June 28, 2017

The numbers are crunched, arranged, and deconstructed. Computers churn out percentages, predictions. They have their place in this world, but they will never tell you your place. The numbers are numbers, but they don’t have all the data. They can’t calculate the unique, glowing being that is YOU.

The statistics don’t know that you dream about a pink picket fence and have clippings from magazines taped to your mirror as motivation.

The statistics don’t know

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6 min read

Family Strong

By Courtney Edge-Mattos on June 21, 2017

It was the beginning of December when we got the call. Five siblings dropped off at a local DCF office by their parents. They had the clothes on their backs, some tattered belongings, and little heads filled with questions and fear. We went through our list of available homes and on that cold, gray Thursday, there was nothing. None of our homes were open, and certainly not a home for five siblings. We’ll let you

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3 min read

What is MAPP Class?

By Courtney Edge-Mattos on June 12, 2017

MAPP is the Massachusetts Approach to Partnerships in Parenting.  It is a course taught in every foster care and adoption program in Massachusetts and is a pre-requisite for all foster and pre-adoptive parents.  MAPP is a 30 hour course that is, essentially, a crash course in parenting a child who is involved with the child welfare system.  Every state has its own version of the curriculum, so that potential foster and pre-adoptive parents understand the

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3 min read

Fractures and Splints

By Courtney Edge-Mattos on May 23, 2017

MAPP is the Massachusetts Approach to Partnerships in Parenting.  It is a course taught in every foster care and adoption program in Massachusetts and is a pre-requisite for all foster and pre-adoptive parents.  MAPP is a 30 hour course that is, essentially, a crash course in parenting a child who is involved with the child welfare system.  Every state has its own version of the curriculum, so that potential foster and pre-adoptive parents understand the

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4 min read

A Letter to My Son's Mother

By Courtney Edge-Mattos on May 15, 2017

I would like to extend a sincere thanks to Mama L for sharing this beautiful, vulnerable piece of her heart with our readers.  

Dear Mama M,

 People often stare when they see our family. They stare because our son looks like you and not like us. Sometimes observational comments will be made such as "your daughter has fair skin and your son has darker skin". Sometimes we simply reply, "yes they do", and other

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2 min read

Faith and Fairy Dust

By Courtney Edge-Mattos on May 9, 2017

On Friday, May 5th, we celebrated our amazing parents at the annual "Foster Parent Appreciation Dinner."  Program Director Bob Costa thanked our parents with this speech we thought we'd share with you.  Enjoy!

"This year’s theme is magic and fairies. Interesting you say however so true. Foster parents are like fairies and sprinkle magic amongst the foster children that you have served. On a daily basis we receive frantic phone calls from DCF to place

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3 min read

Setting the Tone

By Courtney Edge-Mattos on April 27, 2017

The gatherings were once small, just a few parents and kids.  There was no real zest or enthusiasm for extra-curricular activities.  That attitude was coming from us, the staff, and it wasn’t okay.  We had to change, we had to set the tone for the program we wished to be a part of.  Three years ago, we decided we needed to amp up the joy and we have never gone back.  Our Halloween party in 2014

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3 min read

What is IFC?

By Jared Pacheco on April 18, 2017

What is IFC?  This is one of the most common questions that Home Finders are asked.  IFC stands for Intensive Foster Care.  The term “intensive” might sound a little scary, however it just means that IFC foster parents work with an agency such as JRI and get extra supports to make their foster parent experience a rewarding and successful one.

This extra support includes 24 hour, 7 day per week on-call support, so that you

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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.

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