Foster for Doncaster carers celebrate 45 years of fostering - Janet and Stuart's story

“We see ourselves as stepping stones for children and young people to a better life.”

A married couple in Doncaster who have cared for over 130 children and have just celebrated 45 years of fostering.

Janet and Stuart Roberts, first became foster carers back in 1978 when their first child was just four years old. At the time, the couple said they knew little about what was involved in fostering, but knew there were children in their community who needed a safe and loving environment to live in.

Looking back Janet says, “We were young parents, in our early 20s, and just wanted to open our home and make a positive difference to the lives of children in Doncaster.

Having been fostering children, from babies to teens, for over four decades the Roberts have seen a lot of changes but the one thing that hasn’t changed is their passion for fostering.

“We have had so many favourite fostering moments over the years. We have cared for babies and children, giving their parents time to sort things out in their own lives and home. It is always hard to say goodbye to the children, but knowing by caring for them we’ve helped give Mum and Dad the time they need, so the children can return to a safe and happy home environment is so worthwhile.

 “The rewards have been and still are immense”, said Janet. This has included watching a young woman who spent several years living with them go on to university, become a police officer, get married and have children of her own. They still regularly see her and her children – and Stuart even gave her away when she got married.

Fostering has benefited Roberts’ own children too. “Both our children have grown into very caring adults, which I think is partly due to the fact we shared our lives with so many foster children”, says Janet.

No plans to retire

The couple have no plans to retire any time soon.

Janet says; “It is really hard to believe we have been fostering for 45 years, but we have no plans to ‘put our feet up’. We feel we still have a lot to give to fostering. We are still actively caring for babies and teens. We enjoy being able to make a positive difference in the children’s lives." 

The couple has made many lifelong friendships along the way, enjoying activities as part of the wider Foster for Doncaster community. Along with other foster families, they love taking the children on outings and getting involved in the weekly activities, giving the children a chance to have fun and make new friendships.

Thinking about how you can Foster for Doncaster

Janet says; “If you are thinking about fostering, get as much information as you can. Come along to one of the information events and talk with people who are currently fostering for Doncaster who can tell you about the whole fostering journey, the challenges and the rewards.”

“Stuart and I are just so pleased we made that first phone call to ask for information about fostering because we wouldn’t have wanted to spend the last 45 years any other way.”


Discover how you can Foster for Doncaster

To foster you need to be over 21, have a spare bedroom and live in or close to Doncaster.

 There is no such thing as a typical foster carer. Foster for Doncaster needs more people who can offer a child stability, love and caring home, to get in touch.

Get in touch today to find out how you can make a positive difference to a local child or meet our Foster for Doncaster at one of our community events near you.

You can also find out more by calling our team on 01302 737 789 or completing our online enquiry form.

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