10 years ago today, Roy Hipkiss and Damien Mead had the great honour of attending a Garden Party at Buckingham Palace in recognition of Credo Care's 10th Anniversary. This year Credo Care is 20 years old (on 31st August). Children with disabilities and complex medical needs have always been fostered through Local Authorities or Charities, on the whole, and where they had been placed with Independent providers it was often in 'converted' mainstream placements.
Credo Care was the first Independent Fostering Agency to specialise in their care. Other agencies have started to develop services since but we remain the leader in this field.
Commenting on our anniversary, Damien, who serves as our Chairman, writes: “Over these 20 years we have grown from operating from a dining table at home, to being nationwide. We have experienced deep and abiding joy and satisfaction and overcome some serious challenges, both professional and personal. It has, at times, seemed like a roller-coaster ride, sometimes exhilarating and on occasion 'nail bitingly' scary! Over the past 2 years we have dealt with probably the most challenging period we have ever experienced.
Everyone will, I think, appreciate that in business one has to trust people, and I am pleased to say we have known, and know, some amazing people whom we have trusted and know we can trust. Unfortunately, over the years, we have also had to say goodbye to some folk who did not share our vision or, who had a very different agenda to take the agency off in a direction we have been unhappy with.
It is especially galling that we haven't always been able to share our frustrations, or the reasons certain things have happened and why decisions have been made, with our staff and carers. There has been a inevitable change over 2 decades.
The agency has gone from an Ofsted rating of "Good", to "Outstanding" and back to "Good" - narrowly missing "Outstanding" in our most recent inspection! We don't really mind, how can we?, when it keeps us on our toes for no matter how good we know our service is - there is always room for improvement or enhancement!
When Roy and I established Credo Care in August 2000, Foster Care wasn't regulated in the way it is today and we both welcomed regulation. In fact, under the first regulatory body, we even helped write the standards for our particular service - so unique was Credo Care's area of specialism in the UK.
One thing that hasn't changed, after 20 years, is the commitment Roy and I have for Credo Care to strive for the very best outcomes for the disabled children and young people, and those with serious and complex medical needs, in our care. Providing trained and supported fostering families as a preferable, viable, alternative to hospital or institutional care. This remains our main focus and motivation.
We are so very grateful to all those who have worked so hard, shared the vision and contributed to our success and look forward to the next 20 years - thank you!"