Foster mum providing advice to new carers

Murrey and Suzie Leggett.
Murrey and Suzie Leggett.

FOSTER parents Suzie and Murrey Leggett are determined to provide stability for young children in state care.

The couple, who have four children of their own, have provided short and long term care for 15 foster children over the past five years.

Two sisters aged three and 18 months are in their care long term as well as a four month old baby they have for the short term.

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“Some have gone back to their family, we don’t have kids that go from carer to carer because they need stability,” Mrs Leggett said.

She said when they first introduced their children to a foster sibling, they kept them at arms length so they didn’t get attached.

“But once they gave it a month they let them in,” Mrs Leggett said.

“These are their sisters, the only difference is a bit of paper and DNA but they’re our children.”

Here’s how YOU can help:

1. Join the Home Stretch campaign at: thehomestretch.org.au

2. Sign up to be a foster carer at: www.dcp.wa.gov.au

Mrs Leggett will talk to potential foster carers at a Department of Communities Foster Care Information Session at the Joondalup District Office, 8 Davidson Terrace, from 6-8pm on Tuesday, May 21.

“There’s nothing like hearing information from the horses mouth,” she said.

“I tell them the children’s stories.

“My advice is work with the department. I treat them how I want to be treated.

“Sometimes you don’t like a decision, either from the department or a judge, but you just go with it.”

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The Leggett’s moved to Perth from the UK in 2009 and started fostering young children so they could have an impact from an early age.

Mrs Leggett said the Home Stretch campaign that advocated for supporting young people in state care to the age of 25 was crucial.

“Sometimes these children in care are 18 in age but mentally aren’t 18 because of the trauma and neglect,” she said.

Community News is supporting Home Stretch, a national campaign urging all state governments to change legislation to support them until they are 21.