Foster care goes on

DESPITE the death of her husband, Jeanette Loader has been determined to carry on fostering children as the couple had done together for 17 years.

DESPITE the death of her husband, Jeanette Loader has been determined to carry on fostering children - as the couple had done together for 17 years.The 59-year-old from Aylesbeare was heartbroken when she lost husband Colin five years ago. But she knew she had to deal with her grief in order to continue fostering. Family life and supporting those who need help was important to Colin and Jeanette, writes Di Bowerman. Colin's death made Jeanette more determined to help vulnerable children and young people in care and she has been a full-time foster carer now for 20 years."I love family life and helping people," said Jeanette, pictured with granddaughter Isobel Ward."Although Colin had been unwell for a long time, he urged me to carry on fostering even through his illness."Lots of children and young people in foster care, through no fault of their own, have experienced a difficult start in life and I wanted to continue providing them with love and support."For the last three years Jeanette has fostered with Families First Fostering Agency, part of the Pathway Care Group, and spent Mothering Sunday with her family and fostered youngster 'Sarah' [not her real name].She has been caring for the 14-year-old for five weeks and said: "Already I've seen improvements in her behaviour and we get on really well."Jeanette still receives Mother's Day cards and gifts from adults she fostered previously, and they remind her how proud Colin would have been of her fostering. She said: "Colin used to tell me I was born to foster care and knowing I'm continuing with his last wish is such a comfort."I'm Sarah's foster carer not her foster mother. I understand that we only get one mum so, if I can help Sarah build a relationship with her mother, I'd be delighted."There is a shortage of 600 foster carers across the South West says Fostering Network, said Martin Leitch, SW regional manager for Pathway Care."Foster carers like Jeanette offer an invaluable service helping children and young people from difficult backgrounds to rebuild their lives."He added: "Without foster carers many vulnerable children would have no one to love them."For more information about fostering call (01626) 333787 or visit the website: www.pathwaycare.com.


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