Marcie McGowan, the dynamic Co-Founder and CEO of The Hatch Project, is on a mission alongside her brother Nathan to ignite transformative change. Through this project, Marcie finds herself leading a social enterprise that affects thousands of lives. Launched a few years ago, The Hatch Project is not just a local endeavor; it’s a global force dedicated to bringing positive outcomes to the lives of the most disadvantaged children, starting with Australia.
The vision of The Hatch Project is expansive, delving deliberately into the intricacies of the foster care system. Marcie and Nathan are on a quest for answers: Why are children in care, and why do they often face bleak futures? In a country where 46,000 children are in foster care, their mission revolves around understanding and tackling the social, emotional, and behavioral needs of these vulnerable individuals. The urgency is palpable when considering that 50% of care leavers grapple with challenges like parenthood, incarceration, or homelessness within a year. Their mission goes beyond just numbers; it’s about breaking the cycle.
“Social Entrepreneurs are not content just to give a fish or teach how to fish. They will not rest until they have revolutionized the fishing industry.” – Bill Drayton
Understanding the Challenge
Foster care, a government-supported system for children, faces a significant reputational risk due to public perception. The existing strict regulations often hinder innovative problem-solving due to fear of risk. The Hatch Project steps into this scenario with a solution—an online platform exclusively for foster carers. This platform acts as a safe space, fostering communication and connection for carers who may feel constrained in the outside world. The platform’s success is gauged by carers’ engagement, highlighting its importance as a valuable tool in building a supportive community.
Carers’ voices are crucial. Frequently pushed to a breaking point due to insufficient support, undervaluation, and limited agency, carers often lack decision-making authority. The Hatch Project aims to rewrite this narrative, empowering carers to have a say in decisions that affect them.
Building a Community and Driving Change
Trust is vital for The Hatch Project, operating independently to prioritise the well-being of foster carers. The goal is to establish a collaborative foster care community, not just in scale but in action. The project shares expertise with the sector, addressing challenges in recruitment and retention. As the community grows, the objective is self-sustainability, with members taking the lead.
While nurturing community growth, The Hatch Project provides leadership and opportunities. The expanding community envisions itself as an educational space, seeking additional resources to enhance effective communication between carers and caseworkers.
Leading A Social Enterprise and Thriving
Leading a social enterprise like The Hatch Project is a challenging journey. Marcie’s story of going back to university to overcome personal challenges highlights a universal truth—leaders, no matter how confident, face doubts. What sets them apart is their ability to confront uncertainties and grow. This journey of self-awareness not only makes leaders relatable but also highly effective.
Nathan’s investment in Marcie’s growth reflects the rare and invaluable opportunities for genuine investment in individuals. Even the most assured leaders grapple with doubts rooted in past experiences.
What distinguishes these leaders is their capacity to recognize uncertainties, confront them, and actively pursue growth. This journey of self-awareness and openness to evolution enhances their relatability and effectiveness as leaders.
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