» What is Kinship Care?

What is Kinship Care?

As part of our new family-focused strategy, we will use the power of the club’s crest to support families who need our help most. The first area of support we are focussed on is Kinship Care Families.


What is Kinship Care?


It is where a child lives with a family relative or close family friend for either a short period of time or permanently as their parents are unable to care for them. This is due to a number of reasons such as substance misuse, mental health issues or death. These placements can be arranged formally by the Local Authority or informally through family supporting their own.


Why Kinship Care?


Kinship care families are widely unsupported across the country receiving little support, financially or practically which means many families are struggling to care and support these young children who typically experience multiple disadvantages and are likely to have experienced some form of abuse or neglect. Yet despite unique challenges, research demonstrates positive outcomes for children in kinship care.


Key points from studies* of kinship care:


  • Kinship carers want more training to cope with children’s challenging behaviours.
  • The majority receive little or no practical support managing complex family situations and ensuring positive child development. Yet kinship carers make huge personal sacrifices around employment, social interactions, family and personal relationships.
  • There is wide geographic disparity in support provision; financial support ranged from £40 to £286 per week. Access to core universal services is equally varied.


Kinship carers want access to information and advocacy around complex issues including finance and specialist services.


Here is what some children say about Kinship Care**

Boy aged 10:

"I like staying at my aunty’s house, it’s fun. Aunty makes me wake up and sends me to school. She likes me to eat all my meals and take my medicine. I have to brush my teeth. I like to go on holiday with my aunty and go on an aeroplane and jump on trampolines on my holiday.
I miss my mum and dad. When mummy went away back to England I was very upset. I am better now; I missed them at first..."

Boy aged 7:

"When I was a baby, I was hurt and was taken away to stay with my grandparents. Mummy stopped coming to see me. I came to stay with grandad and grandma when I was one. I had toys in my bedroom. I am happy to stay here because I am a special boy. I don’t like fireworks. I like cuddles. I like sports. I don’t need mum and dad, grandad and grandma look after me."

* Study from ‘Relative Support – A Review of Kinship Care in Scotland’ – Mentor UK

** Study by ‘Grandparents Parenting again and Kinship Carers’ entitled ‘Stories from Young people in Kinship Care in Midlothian’