By Rita Griffiths
This report presents findings from the second and final phase of a two part qualitative evaluation of a series of Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) policy measures targeted at lone and couple parents, which aimed to increase parental employment as well as reduce child poverty.
The aim of the evaluation overall was to explore whether the measures offered an adequate package of support to parents, in London and non-London New Deal Plus for Lone Parents (ND+fLP) pilot areas, and if the measures, either collectively or singly, encouraged them to enter and sustain work.
This final phase of the research aimed to follow up issues raised in the first phase of the research (and published in a separate accompanying report). It examined the effects of In Work Credit (IWC) and other policy measures on parents’ work-related decision making and behaviours, looking in particular at whether the measures encouraged and supported work entry, work retention and work progression. A related area of investigation explored how parents were able to balance work and childcare.
The research consisted of 66 face-to-face interviews with parents in two case study areas in the spring and summer of 2010 - 43 couple parents and 23 lone parents. Sixteen of the couple parents had been interviewed in the first phase of the research. Face-to-face and telephone interviews were also held with Jobcentre Plus staff in the two case study areas.