JRI/COVID-19 Navigator

Do you have a question about how JRI services, related to COVID-19 or otherwise?

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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Foster Children

3 min read

Foster Friends

By Courtney Edge-Mattos on June 25, 2020

“Remember that no one succeeds alone.  Never walk alone in your future paths.” –Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayer

There are days and nights when we all feel alone.  Our staff, our children, our foster parents, our biological parents…Probably even the judges presiding over these fragile lives feel alone. 

But we never are.  Not a single one of us.  And we shouldn’t be. 

We are part of a caring community.  We are surrounded by friends

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3 min read

Why I Foster: A foster parent's story

By Courtney Edge-Mattos on May 11, 2020

May is National Foster Care Month.  It is a month to reflect upon the confusing system that is foster care, to keep children in care, foster parents, biological parents, foster siblings (the children of foster parents), foster care workers, judges, lawyers, GALs, CASA workers, and everyone else in your thoughts.  And for some of our foster parents, it is the right time to reflect back upon why they choose to foster.  

Mama B is one

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2 min read

To Raise A Child

By Courtney Edge-Mattos on February 13, 2020

I love words (which should be of no surprise to those of you who follow this blog- I use a lot of them!).  The words we choose, the phrases that have become engrained in our cultures mean so much.

“To raise a child.”  It is such a common statement.  But what does it mean?  Why not “build a child,” “complete a child,” “construct a child,” or something else that describes the work and effort that

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5 min read

Foster Care: A World Unknown

By Courtney Edge-Mattos on January 24, 2020

They tore around the large room.  Blocks were immediately turned into missiles, beverages on tables grabbed, anything within reach grabbed.  Their eyes darted around, yet they avoided eye contact at all costs.  We were unknown, this place was unknown.

“Is it always like this?” I asked, breathless after chasing down my work phone which had nearly gone airborne.

“Since they arrived, yes…It’s like they’ve never been in a house before,” Foster Mom said, catching a

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4 min read

Healing Home

By Courtney Edge-Mattos on January 21, 2020

Foster parents create healing homes.  They walk beside children who have experienced some of the deepest wounds and help them find their way through.  It takes courage, patience and love.  One of our amazing families shared their story recently.

 

“I think I need to talk to (social worker’s name).  Can you call her for me?” she asked, her eyes serious as they cleared the dishes from the table.

Foster mom recalled the immediate concern she

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4 min read

A Healthy Brain and A Kind Heart

By Courtney Edge-Mattos on December 26, 2019

His scheduled visit was cancelled suddenly, leaving him in the school office. 

“Hi, Buddy is still here…Do you know if someone is coming to get him?”

There hadn’t been a message to let anyone know of the cancellation.  Foster mom thought he was at the DCF office.  Our Case Manager thought the same.  Buddy just knew he was waiting with the receptionist. 

She picked him up.  She’d met him twice before.  “Do you remember me?”

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3 min read

An Inspiration and Reminder of the Power of Our Presence

By Robert Costa on September 10, 2019

Three years ago on the advice of a co-worker, I read the book A Chance in the World, written by Steve Pemberton and the book was both riveting and eye opening for all of us that work with children. I also had the opportunity to listen to Mr. Pemberton speak in person and was amazed at his resilience and description of the experiences that he had, while placed in foster care, as well as his

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3 min read

A School Year Wish

By Courtney Edge-Mattos on August 29, 2019

It is that time of year again.  Busses wheeze through neighborhoods, opening doors with a groan as students clatter into seats.  Playgrounds burble with excited shrieks and laughter as recess again takes over.  Lockers slam and reminders to walk, not run ring through previously silent hallways.  School is back in session.    

School has a unique place in a child’s life.  It is routine, predictable, regulated.  There is something very known about school.  Even a

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4 min read

Foster Care with a Partner: Can one partner be the only foster parent?

By Courtney Edge-Mattos on August 8, 2019

Foster Care with a Partners: Can one partner be the only foster parent?

From time to time, we receive calls and contacts from people interested in becoming foster parents, but their partners are not interested in doing so.  Often, the partner is willing to let the caller try fostering, but does not plan to be involved and is not planning to be an active participant in the fostering process.  What do we say?

Fostering is a

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5 min read

Choosing a Foster Care Agency

By Courtney Edge-Mattos on April 11, 2019

You do an online search.  “Foster Care Agencies Near Me.”  Four or five names pop up on your screen.  You pause and start to wonder.  Does it matter which you choose?  Don’t they all do the same thing?  How do you know which program is right for you?

Interview Agencies

Just like anything, every agency has its own personality.  Call a few agencies.  Do they answer your call right away?  Do they sound friendly?  Do

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