JRI Foster Care Blog

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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3 min read

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

By Courtney Edge-Mattos on April 11, 2017

At an adoption finalization last spring, I had the privilege of witnessing the union of a family.  It was a little gal I knew from a previous work-life, who wandered her way back in my direction.  She found her forever home with one of the most loving, big-hearted families I have ever had the honor of knowing.  Her present and future were immediately wrapped in love and were more clearly planned out, yet much her

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7 min read

Ten Small Steps and a Leap of Faith

By Courtney Edge-Mattos on April 3, 2017

Many folks consider becoming a foster parent, but often aren’t sure if they are eligible or what will be involved.  Are you one of the wondering?  Well, read on for the answers to your questions!

  1. Call or e-mail the Homefinder

The first step is simply reaching out.  Some people are phone people, some are e-mail people.  Either is fine, but nothing can happen until you do one or the other.  Our online interest form can

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3 min read

Who We Are Not: Three Hots and a Cot

By Courtney Edge-Mattos on March 28, 2017

I heard this phrase recently from a social worker.  When asking about a foster family, she asked if they were a good family or just a “Three Hots and A Cot” home.   The phrase startled me.  There was no malice or ill-will intended, but she wanted to understand the type of home in which our child had been placed.  I was able to immediately answer her back that the home was devoted, supportive, and loving

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4 min read

2AM People

By Courtney Edge-Mattos on March 20, 2017

They are the folks you know will answer the phone any time you call, who will drive to pick you up if your car breaks down, will bring you soup and make you tea when you are sick.  We have nicknamed them within our program.  We call them “2AM People.”  Take a moment.  Picture your person, or, if you are very fortunate, people.  Who are they?

For a lot of us, our 2AM People are

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3 min read

From A to Z

By Courtney Edge-Mattos on March 13, 2017

The little one-story ranch house is unassuming from the street view.  What it fails to tell passers-by is that it is a place of healing.  The walls are filled with artwork creations, from paintings to crayon drawings to wind chimes and sculptures made of natural elements picked up on wilderness walks.  It is a cozy jumble, messy to some, but the personification of love and home to the child who lives here.  Just outside the

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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.