MANCHESTER, NH – Child and Family Services, the oldest children’s charitable/family service organization in New Hampshire, has changed its name to Waypoint. The name change comes as part of an entire rebrand of the organization that includes a new look, logo, website, and digital media presence.
The announcement was made Nov. 15 during an evening of reflection – on the history of Child and Family Services and its mission – which came to a natural conclusion with the big reveal. Waypoint President and CEO Borja Alvarez de Toledo explained the two-year journey that brought the organization to this milestone in its 168-year history.
“We heard our constituents loud and clear,” says Alvarez de Toledo. “Our name was no longer reflective of everyone we serve. Our new name does not try to specify every population, but rather, reflects the part we play in individual lives and the life of our community.”
A waypoint is an intermediate point or place at which a course of action or path is changed. The purpose of all Waypoint programs is to help change the course for those who need help negotiating life’s challenges, Alvarez de Toledo said.
“Our agency has evolved over the years as we have responded to the needs of each new generation. Our new name and look better reflect who we are today, a state-of-the- art, nonprofit human service agency that provides a lifeline across the lifespan.”
This rebrand happens after years of expansion and extensive research, including polling of the agency’s many constituencies: clients, partners, donors, community leaders, advocates, legislators, educators, healthcare professionals, law enforcement, and other referral sources.
“Another key reason for our name change is that our previous name sounded very much like a government agency, which caused a lot of confusion. We spent more time explaining who we we’re not, rather than who we are. While we work in partnership with the state, our roles are very different. People need to know who they should call to report child maltreatment; that would be the state. And, they should have a clear pathway to accessing the many free and voluntary services offered by Waypoint to help families succeed.”
As it rolls out its new brand, the agency will also carry a mark of distinction; it is a now accredited by the Council on Accreditation, meaning that the organization meets the highest standards of practice in the field of human services. Waypoint is the only agency of its kind in New Hampshire to be COA accredited.
Along with the new name and logo, and mark of distinction, the agency has launched a new website that streamlines the complex multitude of programs the agency offers, in a clean, simplified, and organized way. The new, responsive design is mobile friendly and will dynamically adjust to any device to enhance the user’s viewing experience.
On November 16, the public will start to see new signs going up on all the agency buildings, and the new print collateral will go into circulation. As well, multi-media channels will help to spread the word to general public about the name change.
“This is a giant leap forward for this organization,” says Bill Conrad, chair of Waypoint’s board of trustees. “It took some painful soul searching, great debate and consideration, and a lot of hard work by a large number of people who are committed to taking this organization into the future.”
While the name and look have changed, the agency is still the same New Hampshire based nonprofit, with the same dedication to people throughout New Hampshire and eastern Vermont. Waypoint’s mission: Empowering people of all ages through an array of human services and advocacy.
Through 14 office sites across New Hampshire, Waypoint offers 28 different programs and services that include the following: child abuse prevention, family empowerment and support, services for children with developmental or chronic health concerns, mental health counseling, home care for seniors and people with disabilities, foster care, adoption, prenatal and pregnancy counseling, a homeless youth continuum, family preservation, human trafficking response, services for adjudicated youth, and a summer camp for kids. The agency plays a dual role as direct service practitioner and advocate, working at the legislative level to shape public policies toward the best interests of children.
To learn more about Waypoint, visit waypointnh.org.
- 1850: Manchester City Missionary Society–an organization that was established through a group of Protestant churches for the purpose of sharing Christian beliefs and bringing direct relief to mill families. MCMS established the Fresh Air program in NH and the District Nursing Association (which later became VNA). MCMS became Family Service Society in 1929 and Family Welfare Society in 1949.
- 1903: Charity Organization Society, Concord–was designed to understand causes of poverty and bring relief. COS established the first public playground in Concord, a tuberculosis clinic, and health and nutrition programs at schools. Its name was changed to Family Welfare Association in 1927, and in 1941, FWA acquired Camp Spaulding.
- 1914: NH Children’s Aid and Protective Society came before the law in child protection. NHCAPS assumed the role of investigating and rescuing children from abuse, before there were child protection laws in New Hampshire. The agency dropped “Protective” from its name in 1942 when investigating abuse became a state function. In 1968, the NHCAS merged with Manchester Family Welfare Society and changed its name to Child and Family Services of NH.
- The three organizations were part of a national movement to focus on the science of social work, going beyond just direct relief, with the development of prevention and intervention programs, and initiatives that have had life-changing and long-lasting impact. By 1971, the organizations had all merged into one statewide, multi-faceted, nonsectarian, nonprofit organization: Child and Family Services of NH. All three agencies were driven by their central values and, together, were responsive to the changing needs of the times.