foster care

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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3 min read

I'm Not Who I Was At Fifteen

By Courtney Edge-Mattos on September 20, 2019

I’m not who I was.  I’ve learned, I’ve experienced life, I’ve met new people who have helped make me the person I am in my current form.  My brain has grown and developed.  Difficult situations have arisen and I’ve survived them.  Wonderful moments have happened and I’ve cherished them.  If I’d experienced these same moments and situations at fifteen, sixteen, seventeen, twenty-two, etc., I would have responded and reflected differently.  Because I’m not who I

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3 min read

An Inspiration and Reminder of the Power of Our Presence

By Robert Costa on September 10, 2019

Three years ago on the advice of a co-worker, I read the book A Chance in the World, written by Steve Pemberton and the book was both riveting and eye opening for all of us that work with children. I also had the opportunity to listen to Mr. Pemberton speak in person and was amazed at his resilience and description of the experiences that he had, while placed in foster care, as well as his

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8 min read

Aging Out: Changing the Statistics for Youth Exiting Foster Care

By Courtney Edge-Mattos on July 18, 2019

How do you get electricity for your new apartment?  How do you open an account with a cable provider?  How do you open a bank account?  What is a credit score?  How do you know which credit card is right for you?  How do student loans work?  How do you find a career and know if it is right for you?  What is a livable wage in your area and what jobs will provide that

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5 min read

Self Esteem and Foster Parents

By Courtney Edge-Mattos on June 21, 2019

It is an undertaking that can be hard on the heart.  When we mention good self-esteem as a quality we seek for potential foster parents, people often give us a quizzical look.  Why would that matter?  Well, let’s explore that.

Gaining Contol

When kiddos lack control in life, they often seek to find ways to create control.  For children placed in foster care, all of the control of their lives has been stripped away.  Where

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2 min read

Play

By Courtney Edge-Mattos on June 20, 2019

The sun hung in the sky longer.  School was out, energy was up.  Staff members donned on sneakers and athletic clothing to prepare to keep up.  A pack of little fellows raced and chased, playing tag, police officer, and superheroes.  The swings were kept in business and the slide shot giggling guests down to the woodchips below.  A pre-teen caught toads, slugs, worms, and a snail, showing everyone her finds.  An infant watched it all

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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.