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JRI Foster Care Blog

4 min read


Grief

By Courtney Edge-Mattos on August 31, 2017

Their eyes have gone from shining and full of sparkles to flat, dull.  Two giggling girls changed, aged over the course of one conversation.  A social worker nervously toyed with her bracelet as she struggled to find the words needed to change their world. 

Their mother, a woman who fought hard to find her footing, lost her battle.  The warm smile they loved, the enveloping hugs she gave, the future they planned to go home

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2 min read


My Signature

By Courtney Edge-Mattos on August 9, 2017

It is the final step for a Home Finder. At the very bottom of the last page, a little black line, about three inches long; your typed name, credentials, and title below. You poise your blue or black pen over the paper and there is always a pause. The weight of the paper is heavy in your hand. You’ve read, re-read, and scrutinized every line. Peers, supervisors, and program directors have reviewed your work. That

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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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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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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.