So, what’s changed?
Our name. We’ve changed our charity’s working name to Kinship.
Why have you changed your name?
Because Grandparents Plus isn’t the right name for who we are, what we do and who we support. It was causing confusion with people who need us the most; the whole range of kinship carers from 18 to 80.
We had a lot of feedback that showed many kinship carers didn’t think we were relevant to them, that we are a grandparenting organisation. This meant they were missing out on vital support that could offer advice, information, financial support and the chance to share their stories and connect with other kinship carers who really understand their circumstances.
As a charity that supports all kinship carers and campaigns and influences on behalf of all kinship carers, we need to make sure we’re doing everything we can to get all kinship carers the recognition, support and respect they deserve. That includes shouting it loudly and clearly that we are here for all kinship carers and kinship families.
We know kinship carers already have to deal with complex, confusing and difficult situations to feel secure in their legal status and getting the support they’re entitled to. We know the rights of kinship carers have been neglected over the years, and the care system continues to throw up barriers at every turn. We know many feel invisible and misunderstood, and when they see organisations for foster parents, for adoptive parents and for carers, they rightly want to know; who’s supporting us?
Changing our name just means that we are now being really clear about supporting all kinship carers including siblings, aunts, uncles, other relatives and friends – as well as grandparents raising children.
If we want to keep kinship families stronger and help they find the best way forward, we need to remove all barriers to achieving those goals, and that includes making things as clear as possible.
As a service user, community member or supporter of Grandparents Plus – do I need to do anything?
Not at all. You won’t need to re-register for anything, or give us your details again, all you’ll see is our new name on our emails, social media and other communications.
Why have you chosen the name Kinship?
Kinship makes it clear that we are a charity for all kinship carers and kinship families, and although many kinship carers are grandparents, there are many who are not. We needed to show the world who we stand for.
We want all kinship carers to self-identify as kinship carers. When you’re called different things by different people (special guardians, connected carers, kinship foster carers, the list goes one) it adds to the confusion and lack of understanding of your role. With a collective identity, kinship carers will be more visible, harder to ignore, a more powerful community and a movement for change.
As a name, Kinship is modern, warm and friendly, yet strong – like the kinship carers we support. It includes loved ones, relationships and friendships – we think that describes what you do well.
The name is practical too. It’s already part of our project names – Kinship Community, Kinship Connected, Kinship Response etc, so that the transition to our new name will be effective yet straightforward.
How did you decide on this name?
We talked to and listened to lots of people. We asked kinship carers, staff, our kinship care advisory group, our Board of Trustees, funders and partner organisations. When we talked to kinship carers who are not grandparents they said “I didn’t think you were for me” and it was very clear that our name was stopping people finding support.
We asked our Kinship Community what they thought of the proposed new name and 87% said they thought it would help us reach more people with practical, life-changing support. As you’d expect, there are differing views on changing our name to Kinship, but the overwhelming majority of feedback has been positive.
We’re excited by the change because we believe it will clearly position us as the national kinship care charity for all kinship carers. It is an important tool in achieving our vision of recognition, support and respect for kinship carers across the country.
How much has changing your name cost?
Not one single penny of funds allocated for service delivery has been used to change from Grandparents Plus to Kinship.
We have done most of the work ourselves internally, consulting with kinship carers so we have not incurred any brand agency costs. We have a small budget allocated for promoting the charity so that kinship carers can find us and access the support they need, and we have used a small amount of this to pay for a designer to create our new logo and brand guide. We have redesigned most of our promotional materials ourselves.
Does this mean that you care less about grandparent kinship carers?
Absolutely not. Grandparent kinship carers are essential to society and the work we do. We understand your specific needs and will always be here to support you. And we want to make sure every other kinship carer, whatever their status, relationship or situation, knows we’re here for them too.
When we asked our community of kinship carers what they thought about our proposed name change, 87% agreed it would help us meet our goals and out of them, 78% were grandparents. So we’re confident and very pleased that grandparents also agree the name change is a positive step
“As a grandparent kinship carer, I am all for the new & inclusive name for the charity & think it is an excellent move.”– Grandparent kinship carer
Does your name change mean you will be changing what you do?
No, it will just make clearer what we already do and clearly show we are here for all kinship carers. For almost 20 years our charity has existed to advise, support, connect and campaign for all kinship carers. That will remain the same.
What about other charities with similar names?
One of our objectives is to make it clear what kinship care is and what it means. Having more charities working together to support kinship carers, all using the name kinship care is a positive step towards that happening.
We have spoken to other charities who we work closely with about our name change, and each organisation is dedicated to working together for the benefit of kinship carers, including collaborating on Kinship Care Week, the Kinship Care Alliance and the Kinship Care Taskforce. We will continue to support their work and encourage local funders to support their work too. By working together and raising the voices of kinship carers we will be a collective force for good.
Why are you doing it now?
We started plans for our name change back in 2018, but due to the coronavirus pandemic, we’ve had to pause the project on several occasions. Thanks to our funders and the 78 local authorities who commission our support programmes and services, we have grown steadily over the past three years. And the need for information and support is greater than ever, especially after the pandemic, which has made it even harder for many kinship families. We want all kinship carers to know that all our support is available to them right now.
Will you be changing your logo, design and social media?
We’ve changed the name in our logo to Kinship, and of course we’ll be changing it on all our leaflets, posters, website, emails and social media. We have also developed a logo that we will be using for our work in Wales.
Why are you still Grandparents Plus on invoices and your bank account?
We’ve changed our working name to Kinship but we will remain registered with the Charity Commission and Companies House as Grandparents Plus and therefore, you will still see our registered name in our documentation, banking and legal contracts.
It’s quite common for charities to have a different working name to their registered charity name as charities strategies and beneficiaries change over time and their name needs to remain relevant to the people they exist to support. For example, Comic Relief is a working name for Charity Projects. Besides which, we’re really proud of what we’ve achieved as Grandparents Plus, so are happy not to sever these important links to our charity’s past.
If you have any further questions, please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will also update this page with any new questions.