Trauma Informed Parenting

2 min read

Faces of Foster Care: Dylan, Aaliyah, and the Lopes Family

By Angela Navarro-Santiago on May 30, 2024

Stacy and James Lopes were empty nesters when they decided to foster again. They had previously fostered and took guardianship of their son’s teenage friend years prior. As a stay at home mother, Stacy enjoyed being present for her biological children as they were growing up and felt she and James still had the ability to make a difference in a youth’s life.

After a couple of months, the Lopes’ home ultimately opened in January

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5 min read

The Key to a Successful Foster Home: Structure is Healing

By Courtney Edge-Mattos on January 10, 2022

Structure.

It is a term that is used often in foster care, right from the first MAPP class and all along.  There’s good reason, too.  Humans thrive on structure- a predictable routine and environment of known factors.  For children and youth who have experienced countless changes and trauma, structure helps reset the brain and allow it to regulate emotions, learning, and expectations.

That’s all fine and well, but if you’re new to the world of

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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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4 min read

A Sign from Little Miss Awesomesauce: Attachment in Foster Care

By Courtney Edge-Mattos on July 1, 2021

The goodbye was a hard one.  As soon as the kids learned that they were going to live with their relatives, behaviors that had long since stopped began cropping up again.  The cuddly children who once snuggled in for stories and movies, who danced in the living room to music, who were joyful turned angry and closed off.  Hurtful words were flung about, tantrums were common, and fists were even raised at Mama T.  “You’re

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4 min read

Forming Attachments in Foster Care: Simple Broth First

By Courtney Edge-Mattos on June 17, 2021

A buffet of food, laid out on a beautiful table.  Aromas of savory dishes, sweet treats, and spicy appetizers tease the nose.  The mouth waters, the stomach rumbles.  A starving person throws himself at the feast, grabbing with both hands, barely chewing, barely registering all that he is taking in, barely able to breathe around this life saving relief.  Other diners step back, wide-eyed at the sight, but politely understand.  He is the guest of

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JRI Service Navigator

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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.