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 Care Agency

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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9 min read

Become a Licensed Foster Parent: References

By Courtney Edge-Mattos on October 25, 2019

Applying to Become a Licensed Foster Parent: References

There are many steps to becoming a licensed foster parent.  Background checks, obtaining documentation, attending MAPP class, and the homestudy.  One of the most over-looked and under-appreciated components of the study, however, is the reference section.

Agencies are required to obtain personal references, employer references, school references (if applicants have school-aged children in their home), and medical references.  Agencies may ask different questions on their forms, but

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3 min read

Little Miracle

By Courtney Edge-Mattos on October 1, 2019

Mrs. M was gone for two weeks.  She cried for the first two days, then checked in with the respite parents regularly.  “Is she doing okay?  Is she eating?  How is she sleeping?”

Mrs. A, respite parent for Mrs. M's 13 month old miracle baby (born substance exposed at 26 weeks gestation, in the hospital for nearly three months before her release to our foster parent, Mrs. M) carried Little Miracle into the office, beaming with delight. 

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4 min read

He Needs Us

By Courtney Edge-Mattos on June 14, 2019

They arrived home in tears.

“He needs us, Miss J, he needs to be here!!!”

Our foster mom, Miss J, didn’t know what words to say to comfort the sobbing little girls in her kitchen.  CFC parents are limited to two placements, so the girls’ brother was placed elsewhere. 

The visit had been horrible, worse than usual.  Their mom, pregnant with a new child, explained she wasn’t taking them back, she was signing over her

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8 min read

Understanding Different Kinds of Foster Care

By Courtney Edge-Mattos on May 9, 2019

Foster care is a confusing world.  There are a lot of agencies, systems, and individuals involved.  Even within the foster care system itself, there are confusing pieces to navigate.  One of the first questions to ask is the type of foster care you are prepared to provide.  What are the differences?  What are the similarities?  What is right for you?

*Please be aware, this is bring written from the perspective of someone working within

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6 min read

Supporting Our Foster Parents (Part One)

By Courtney Edge-Mattos on April 18, 2019

As an agency, our responsibility is to support our foster parents, so that they can support the children entrusted to their care.  It has been repeatedly demonstrated that the more support we give, the stronger and better equipped our parents are to manage difficult situations and support a child’s healing process.  Here are is Part 1 of JRI Foster Care and Adoption’s key supports:

Foster Parent Support Group

Ten times a month in four different locations, we

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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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