JRI Foster Care Blog

6 min read

Preparing for An Arrival

By Courtney Edge-Mattos on January 17, 2019

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 are part of foster parent support groups on social media.  Your agency calls you and says, “Congratulations, your home has been approved.  You are open to provide foster care!  We will call you when we have a match,” and they hang up the phone.

Now what?

New parents, seasoned parents, it makes no difference.  Welcoming

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1 min read

A Wish for 2019

By Courtney Edge-Mattos on December 31, 2018

A New Year’s Wish

Midnight ushers in the promises of crisp, fresh pages, uninked and ready for the next chapter.  The year reaches in front of us, a road untraveled, offering adventure, promise, a new start. 

I wish you peace in the New Year.  I wish you wisdom, accrued from every year you’ve lived, to guide you on your path.  I wish joy, to greet the new day.  May you dance in golden rays of

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5 min read


By Courtney Edge-Mattos on December 13, 2018

He won’t sit still.  He shifts in his chair constantly, folding a leg under himself, then unfolding, folding the other leg.  His backpack is a whirl of chaos.  There is always something forgotten, either at home, at school, on the bus, or whereabouts unknown.  He looks up with giant eyes, a blank expression on his face, as his caretaker repeats herself for the seventeenth time. 

“Go clean up your room before dinner,” she says.  He

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3 min read

Program Positives

By Courtney Edge-Mattos on November 1, 2018

There is a whole lot of good happening for our kiddos and families!  The tough stuff sometimes bogs us down and takes center stage, but we need to work harder to shift that focus.  Let the sun shine, as they say.  So here it is, our listicle of positives:

  1. A gentleman who has been growing before our very eyes is in college full time and just got a part-time position in his field of choice
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4 min read

Helping Hands

By Courtney Edge-Mattos on October 23, 2018

There are so many wonderful people out there who want to support the children and families with whom we work.  Many want to help, but aren’t in a place in their life where foster care is the right choice.  We are often asked, what else can I do?  How can I help?  Well, friends, here are some ideas!  Hopefully one will be right for you.

  • Hire a foster youth for an internship or job
  • Organize
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4 min read

Begin Again

By Courtney Edge-Mattos on August 31, 2018

Back to School  

There is an energy that flows through school hallways on the first day.  So many new things all at once.  New teachers, new classmates, new lockers, new notebooks, new markers, new shoes.  Students haven’t seen one another in weeks, so there is much to catch up on.  Trips to Storyland, getting drivers licenses, beach weeks, going shopping for new clothes, summer sports, camp outs, first jobs, and on and on.  Summer is

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3 min read

Back to School Buddies

By Courtney Edge Mattos on August 1, 2018

They are at summer jobs, summer school, summer camp.  They are playing outside, riding bikes, splashing in sprinklers and pools, awaiting the chimes of the ice cream truck.  Every sign points to summer.  But the sun is setting slightly earlier every day, aisles of the grocery store are filled with school lunch snacks, and clothing stores have fall attire on display.  The school year, my dears, is coming.

There is a mixture of heel dragging

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5 min read

Overnight Vigil

By Courtney Edge-Mattos on June 29, 2018

The hallway light shines through the rectangle window, illuminating the little room.  The fifteen inch tube television is on, but it is just black and white “snow,” as we used to call it, no tape in the VHS player.  My ears are appreciating the break from the noise of the classic Disney movies that were playing.  The hours have slogged by, the early hours of the morning now upon us.  I arrived at 11PM, relieving

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2 min read

Wild Girls

By Courtney Edge-Mattos on June 18, 2018

“Let’s be wild girls!” she crowed excitedly, prancing around the basketball court like a horse.  I had a hoop skirt of toddlers clinging to my legs. 


“What?” I asked, following her with my eyes as I twisted around the little hands gripping my pants. 


“Let’s run and be wild!” 


With complete abandon, hair bouncing in every direction, arms flailing to some music she must have had in her mind, she did just

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2 min read

Know No

By Courtney Edge-Mattos on May 25, 2018


Two letters, but so powerful.  Two letters that, put together, shut doors, shut down possibilities.  They are stopping points.  For some of us, they are easy to utter.  For others, especially for the helping hearts of the world, they grind and stab over our tongues, painful to say, worse to admit.

 But why is there shame in this simple little word?

 For foster and adoptive parents, for agencies, for anyone involved in our world, 

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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.