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Our Mission

A community of empowered foster and kinship carers working together to achieve better outcomes for children in foster care.

We aim to change the current system by bringing carers together to support each other and work in partnership with the Out of Home Care (OOHC) system on matters impacting the foster and kinship caring role. We believe that for children in foster care to thrive, their carers must be adequately supported, resourced, and empowered. Connected carers are in the best position to support each other and provide vital expertise to the OOHC sector, which holds the authority to make decisions.

Our Journey

Established in 2020 by siblings Marcie McGowan and Nathan Andrews, Hatch was founded to address systemic issues in the NSW Out of Home Care (OOHC) system that lead to poor outcomes for foster children. Marcie's 15 years in the NSW OOHC sector and Nathan's expertise in agile project management, honed through his work on the innovative financial software 'Waddle,' uniquely positioned them to tackle these challenges.

Hatch leverages its independent perspective to identify root problems within the system. Using systems mapping, human-centered design, and agile methods, they found that the most influential relationships for foster children are with their carers. They identified a significant gap in support and resources for foster and kinship carers, leading to a theory of change focused on improving carers' wellbeing to sustain their demanding roles.

With no existing sector strategy addressing this crucial issue, Hatch took the initiative to fill this gap, aiming to enhance support and agency for foster carers, ultimately improving outcomes for children in the OOHC system.

Hatch Forum 

In 2023, Hatch piloted an online community forum for foster carers, designed as a safe, nurturing space for connection, support, and resources. This initiative provided valuable insights:

  • Broken Trust: The relationship between the foster care system and carers is severely strained, operating with minimal trust and rapport.

  • Undisclosed Hardships: Carers face greater hardships than anticipated, often withheld from service providers due to fear of punitive consequences.

  • Voiceless Carers: Carers are not leaving due to the inherent challenges of fostering high needs children but because they feel unheard and unsupported.

  • Recruitment Challenges: Carer recruitment issues are likely linked to these systemic problems, with many carers unable to recommend fostering in good conscience.

  • Goodwill and Expertise: Despite these issues, there is significant goodwill and a wealth of expertise within the foster carer community, eager to contribute to solutions if given the opportunity.

  • Leveraging Technology for Recruitment and Retention:

    Through prototyping a software solution during our foster carer forum pilot, Hatch Carers has gathered valuable user data. This data highlights how we can leverage technology to address carer recruitment and retention needs effectively.

These insights underscore the urgent need for better support and empowerment of foster carers to address the critical shortage and improve the foster care system.

Hatch Carers Pty Ltd

In June 2024, Hatch officially became a social enterprise known as Hatch Carers. With three directors and six volunteer carers, we are committed to expanding our membership and ensuring our resources and community support are accessible to all carers in NSW.

Our team brings diverse expertise in OOHC systemic functioning, agile product development, and service transformations. Our passionate carer leaders team contribute a combined 70 years of experience as kinship and foster carers. Our demonstarted professional capabilities include foster carer education, recruitment, support, advocacy, coaching, and therapy.

We understand the OOHC sector's operations and the relationship between regulatory functioning and system behavior, positioning us to drive meaningful change and support for foster carers.

Our intentions

Hatch Carers is actively seeking opportunities to address the current carer recruitment and retention crisis in NSW. We believe our lived experience and insights from our carer forum are the missing pieces for the Department of Communities and Justice (DCJ) and the broader sector. We aim to serve as trusted advisors to the Department on foster carer-related matters.

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