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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Choose a Foster Care Agency

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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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

Sink to Swim

By Courtney Edge-Mattos on August 15, 2019

His legs are visibly shaking.   There is a voice, off to the side, encouraging him, giving him pointers, supporting him.  Below is a woman, arms open, ready to catch him.  The child lurches to his knees, clinging to the diving board.  Eventually, he slowly lowers himself into the pool. 

In the next frame, he is taller, leaner.  His goggles are positioned on his face just so.  He strides with confidence to the end of the

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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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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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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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