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Foster Parent

5 min read


Nana and Busy Bee

By Courtney Edge-Mattos on September 28, 2021

At age 91, Nana decided it was time to retire.  She turned 90 last year during the early days of the pandemic.  We couldn’t celebrate her in the way we’d wanted.  Nana called us early on.  “I don’t think I should take any children right now.  It just doesn’t seem safe.”  We agreed. 

Nana was in her 60’s when she started fostering.  She’d always wanted to, but hadn’t had the time.  Her children were grown

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3 min read


One More Bed

By Courtney Edge-Mattos on September 21, 2021

What if there was one more bed?

One more bed for a 14 year old would mean that Kayla could step down from a group care program where she’s completed her service plan.  She has skills to manage her anxiety and a care team to support her.  She could live with a family while her biological family regains its footing.  She could feel a bit more like a regular kid.

One more bed for a

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2 min read


Fostering: Am I Ready? Am I Enough?

By Courtney Edge-Mattos on April 2, 2021

How long have you been thinking about fostering?  Is this a new idea or something you’ve considered for some time?

This is often the first question I ask folks, and the answer is almost always the same: years.  But they weren't sure they were ready.  They weren't sure they are enough.

They've spent years picturing what it would be like to prepare a room for a child, of the things they would do with a child or

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3 min read


Seventeen: A Foster Child's Road

By Courtney Edge-Mattos on August 18, 2020

“I’m her seventeenth.”

Foster mom’s voice was full of emotion.  My eyes widened, my skin prickled. “Seventeenth?  Home?”

“Yes, she’s seven, her sister is four, and I’m their seventeenth.”

A is seven years old and has lived in seventeen homes.  D is four years old and has lived in nearly as many.  For the seven year old, that means a new home roughly every four months.  For the four year old, that means a new

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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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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.