foster care

2 min read

Your Crown

By Angela Navarro-Santiago on June 28, 2024

As you walk into my home for the first time, I watch as you tentatively inspect your room deciding where to put your shoes and which one of your beloved stuffed animals you would like to sleep with. I help you put your clothes in the dresser and pick out some comfortable pajamas. As you lay your head down on your pillow, which is covered by a cotton pillowcase don’t think twice as to what

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3 min read

Faces of Foster Care: Hunter and Ray

By Courtney Edge-Mattos on May 30, 2024

It was his “Second Act.”  Ray’s son was an adult and had moved out.  His business was steady and thriving and when he came home, the house was quiet.  He remembered the joy of taking his son camping, going to family picnics, and attending sporting events.  Every day he passed by the empty bedroom and felt a void.  One day, an ad highlighting the need for foster parents caught his eye. Ray filled out the

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4 min read

Foster Parenting: What a Child Needs

By Courtney Edge-Mattos on May 10, 2024

Many folks want to foster, but they are not sure they have what it takes.  They question, am I enough?  Will I be able to do this?  Do I have what a child needs?

Let’s explore what kids in care need.  If you think it sounds like you, that might be a sign it is time to apply!

  1. A Steady Presence: Children and youth in care have been through a lot.  While
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5 min read

Fostering Support: Donation Drives

By Courtney Edge-Mattos on May 7, 2024

Foster parenting is not a fit for every person.  Not everyone is in the right stage of life, has a schedule with the needed flexibility, or has the space within their home to add another person.  Not everyone’s household members agree with the idea of fostering.  Not everyone has the health and wellbeing to commit to foster care.

While fostering isn’t for everyone, there is nearly no limit to who can contribute to the foster

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3 min read

Foster Parenting: Small Stuff is Big Stuff

By Courtney Edge-Mattos on February 16, 2023

The girls’ long-term foster parent had an emergency and had to go to be with her family.  She did not know how long she would be gone.  The girls, elementary school students, had developed a strong bond with Foster Mama and felt safe with her.  They suddenly felt scared.  Where were they going to go?  Were they going to see her again?  We cobbled together a respite plan and moved them within hours.  It wasn’t

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2 min read

Faces of Foster Care: Jazzlynn

By Courtney Edge-Mattos on November 18, 2022

Foster care is a large, complex system.  It is important to remember that individual lives and stories make up foster care.  Please take a moment to hear Jazzlynn's story, one of the many Faces of Foster Care. 

Jazzlynn, or "Jazzy" for short, is 15 years old. She's been in and out of foster care for the majority of her life. She doesn't remember all of the schools she's been to or the names of the

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2 min read

Foster Friends: Join Us for "Winter Crafts and Apps" Event

By Courtney Edge-Mattos on November 14, 2022

We live a step ahead in foster care (whenever possible- we also fly by the seat of our pants a good deal of the time as plan A yields to plans B, C, D, etc). 

Though it is just November, our eyes are trained on December, a month of so many holidays, celebrations, and gatherings.

This year, we invite you, our Foster Friends of JRI, to set a festive tone for the season.  On December

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3 min read

Foster Care: Season of Giving

By Courtney Edge-Mattos on November 7, 2022

Tables laden with wares form a rectangle.  At the center, our staff members stand wearing brightly colored, holiday-themed clothing.  Ugly sweaters have found their home here, much to the delight of our young patrons.

Each table has a theme.  Household items here, baby toys there, beauty products on one table, sports memorabilia on another.  Young people start lining up well in advance of the opening.  They clutch their tickets in eager hands and crane their

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4 min read

Faces of Foster Care: Elijah

By Courtney Edge-Mattos on October 18, 2022

Elijah is six years old.  His birthday was last month and he had a Pokemon themed party.  Not many kids went, but it was still fun.  He’s going to dress up as Flying Charmander for Halloween.  Elijah can tell you all about Pokemon and every character.  He loves to play the online games and has every book he can find about them.  He watches the cartoons every chance he gets.

Elijah has lived with the

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10 min read

Foster Care: Avoiding Foster Parent Burnout

By Courtney Edge-Mattos on April 20, 2022

According the the national average, nearly half of all homes licensed to provide foster care will quit within their first year of fostering.  That means if ten families open their doors, four of those families will close them in less than 12 months. 

What does that mean?  What is happening?

Fostering is hard.  There’s no gentle way to put it.  It impacts every facet of a fostering family’s life, from leisure time to work schedules

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JRI Service Navigator

Do you have a question about JRI services?

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.