Permanent Connections are Vital for a Child’s Success

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We all need the people in our lives who know us and care about us, who celebrate our successes and comfort us in hard times. These are the people we call when we get a new job, lock our keys in the car or are facing a big decision.

Permanent, supportive connections are especially important in childhood, when parents, coaches, mentors and teachers help children develop their identity and values, help them know who they are, develop their strengths and set goals in their life.

For a long time, however, social services didn’t recognize the importance of permanency for the children in their care. In this podcast, Meredith Rapoza, division director of permanency and latency services for JRI, and Rachel Arruda, JRI division director of Family Networks and JRI’s service navigator, talk about how social service professionals have come to recognize the importance of permanency in the development and ultimate success of children. They discuss how JRI is ensuring that all the children in its care develop at least one permanent connection.

We’re also joined by Jason Galli, who entered the social services system from birth, and found permanency for himself despite being moved from foster home to foster home and facility to facility. Now a husband, father and someone dedicated to helping children and youth as a partner with JRI, he offers his story of incredible resilience.

For more information about permanency and how you can become a permanent connection to a child, please visit


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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.