Caring Janet is still going strong three decades on

Foster carer Janet Roberts, of Warmsworth, has been caring for children for 34 years. Picture: Liz Mockler D9185LM

Foster carer Janet Roberts, of Warmsworth, has been caring for children for 34 years. Picture: Liz Mockler D9185LM

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For Janet Roberts, her whole life has been about children.

And over the last 34 years, the 56-year-old and husband Stuart, 59, have offered a home to scores of youngsters in Doncaster.

From newborns to teenagers, the couple have fostered more than 100 children while bringing up their son and daughter Mark and Jane, now 37 and 31.

Janet said the couple were a little apprehensive about becoming foster parents when Mark was little more than a toddler.

She said: “I think it has worked out amazingly. It’s had a very positive impact, I think, on Mark and then later Jane.

“They just got used to sharing everything with the other children that were living with us. Toys, aunties, uncles and mum and dad all had to be shared.

“And now, they are both very caring people and are great with their own children.

“Mark now has a daughter of his own, and is great with her and Jane is very maternal. She’s got three children.”

Janet recalls one of the most positive experiences as a foster parent.

“We usually only take in children up to age ten. But about 11 years ago, we were asked if we would take in a teenager, Janet said.

“We decided to help out and she was with us for about 18 months. Since then she has graduated from university, got married with Stuart walking her down the aisle and I was with her when she had her first baby scan.

Janet added: “Fostering has been my vocation. I’ve done this forever, and it has been wonderful. I’ve made some great friends.”

The hardest part, Janet said, is giving up the children who have been living with the family for a long time.

She added: “But you always know it’s coming so you kind of prepare for it.

“Giving a child to a childless couple, or back to their parents after a rough patch, is really rewarding.

“We’re just looking after them for a short time and making sure they’re safe.”

For more about fostering call Doncaster Council on 0808 129 2600, email fostering@doncaster.gov.uk or visit www.doncaster.gov.uk/fostering