By Rachel Marangozov and Helen Stevens
This report provides findings from the final stage of the evaluation of the ‘work-focused services in children’s centres’ pilot.
The work-focused services in children’s centres pilot was one of a suite of Child Poverty Pilots announed in 2008. The pilot operated in ten local authority areas (30 Sure Start Children’s Centres in total) in England, providing work-focused services through a dedicated Jobcentre Plus Personal Adviser, as well as activities designed to meet local needs. It ran from January 2009 to March 2011.
The aim of the pilot was to test how children’s centres can offer a more effective means of engaging parents in labour market activity, moving them closer to work, and ultimately into employment.
A mixed methods evaluation was put in place to assess the impacts of the pilot and explore experiences and perceptions of its implementation. The evaluation included surveys of centre users, interviews with parents, staff and stakeholders and analysis of DWP administrative data and data collected specifically for the evaluation. Research was also undertaken in a number of non-pilot children’s centres by means of comparison.
The evaluation was undertaken by the Institute for Employment Studies (IES).