Meet Lindsey Hesketh, a devoted social worker who started an initiative to become the voice of the disadvantaged foster children and families.
Lindsey Hesketh is a social worker and the Chief Operating Officer at Fostering Great ideas. She started the “Care2Foster” initiative to “restore hope to children in foster care through innovative ideas built on meaningful relationships”.
Born in an upper-middle-class family in Ohio, Lindsey had everything one could wish for. But she was never satisfied and wanted to work for the upliftment of the less fortunate. She doesn’t shy away from accepting her privileges. But rather than pursuing an income-rich corporate job, she chose to dedicate her life to social work.
While growing up, Lindsey struggled with a learning disability. She took twice the amount of time and work than her peers and barely passed at times. This led to her isolating socially and having low self-esteem. “I literally thought I was ‘stupid’ most of my first 18 years of life“, she says. The way she learned to cope up with these challenges paved a path for her to build a successful career where she continues to help the disadvantaged children.
She always had a supportive family to take care of her. That is why she knew exactly what these kids were missing and wanted to give them a stable and loving environment. After working in child welfare and foster care for several years, Lindsey noticed a widening gap between more children entering foster care and fewer families continuing to foster. Due to this, these children were placed farther away from their parents, school, and the community. They continued to suffer, and the visits from their parents and family were becoming more difficult.
Lindsey wanted to recruit and retain more foster parents to maintain a balance in the system. Therefore, she started the “Care2Foster” program under Foresting Great Ideas, an online platform where people can gain relevant information on what fostering is really like. It is a network of current and prospective foster parents that shares the real stories of real foster parents. It gives them access to training, support groups, meetup events.
Other than this, the organization helps these children get their life back. They tutor the children up to grade level, mentor them, let them visit their siblings. They even organize peer groups for their mothers, who eventually want to get their children back. Asa result “Children in foster care find hope, more families have taken the step to welcome children in their homes, and foster families feel more supported to continue their great work”, she says.
As her career began, Lindsey realized that she was the one holding herself back all these years. She had been negative about her abilities and finally discovered that her struggles were rather her strengths. Lindsey now serves as a voice for these children and helps them lead a normal life despite all the hurdles. She is overwhelmed with the response the initiative has received and to learn that the community is eager to help. All they needed was a platform/medium, and “Care2Foster” finally provided it.
When asked about the idea that really worked for her, she says, “Letting go of perfection and embracing myself fully was the first step to harnessing the greatest part of myself. Don’t hold yourself back by seeing what you’re not. Focus on what you are, and you will become even more than you could ever imagine”. She inspires us to never doubt our abilities and compare ourselves to others. Each one of us has our own struggles, it’s how you perceive and tackle them that makes all the difference.