Work-Focused Services in Children’s Centres Pilot: Interim report

Marangozov R, Stevens H | Research Report DWPRR 677 | Department for Work and Pensions | Jul 2010

This report provides findings from the interim 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 that were announced 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 could 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 assessed the impact of the pilot and explored experiences and perceptions of its implementation.

The evaluation included surveys of centre users, interviews with parents, staff and stakeholders and analysis of DWPadministrative data and data collected specifically for the evaluation.

The interim stage of the evaluation consisted of:

  • qualitative research with children’s centre users
  • in-depth interviews with pilot staff and partners
  • discussion groups with children’s centre users.

These were carried out across ten case study sites, one from each local authority pilot area.