» Kinship Care Programme

Kinship Care Programme


*** Covid-19 update ***


Big Hearts continues to provide meaningful support to Kinship Care families during the pandemic and the schools closure. Food & activity parcels, online peer support and financial relief are available along with a dedicated Helpline: 0131 603 4927.





Big Hearts’ Kinship Care programme is designed to address an increasing area of need. It was launched in October 2015 as our first family-focused programme of support.


Kinship51 (1)-min
The programme offers a range of comprehensive support to address the emotional, practical and financial challenges faced by young people and their carers:


Weekly After School Club for families, which includes expert advice for carers and free hot meal.


Befriending service for vulnerable children, involving Volunteer Hearts fans.


Male Carers and Teenagers wellbeing support groups, both free to attend.


Annual Family Day at Tynecastle Park, known as the largest gathering of kinship families in Scotland.


The programme is currently supported by The National Lottery Community Fund and the Corra Foundation.



Hidden Kinship Heroes


Kinship Care is where a child lives with a family relative full-time as their parents are unable to care for them. This can be due to ill-health, substance abuse, death etc.


Kinship Care is common in Scotland. Statistics estimate that a 1 in 3 of children currently ‘looked after’ in the country are in Kinship Care.


These placements can be arranged formally by the local authority or informally through family supporting their own. It is estimated that there are between 11,000 and 17,000 informal Kinship Care arrangements. Due to its hidden nature, this form of care is not well known leading families feeling isolated and under-supported.