Evaluation of Lone Parents Work Focused Interviews extensions

Funded by: Employment Service


January 2001 to September 2003

PSI researchers:

Genevieve Knight

Michael White

Background, summary and aims

Background and Study Design

The study evaluates the impact of mandatory Personal Adviser (PA) meetings for lone parents in receipt of Income Support (IS). Specifically, it will examine:

  • the extent to which PA meetings contribute to changing the attitudes of lone parents to work as an alternative to life on benefit;

  • the extent to which PA meetings contribute to lowering the numbers of lone parents on IS, and increasing the numbers in (full-time or part-time) work;

  • the extent to which PA meetings increase the proportion of lone parents on IS who agree to participate in New Deal for Lone Parents (NDLP) with the intention of finding work, or finding suitable work-related training as part of a plan to prepare to join the labour market;

  • the extent to which PA meetings help those lone parents who are unable or unwilling to seek work and / or participate in NDLP now, to move closer to the labour market by undertaking independently arranged personal development activity which may stand them in good stead in the labour market in the longer term; and

  • the extent to which PA meetings help lone parents into sustainable jobs (eg of 6 months duration or longer).

    Importance of Research

    Lone parents are a key focus within the government's welfare to work strategy, which aims to promote sustainable employment among those groups facing disadvantage in the labour market. Many lone parents are reliant on IS as their primary source of income, with its consequent repercussions of poor living standards and a high incidence of child poverty. The importance of this research lies principally in its evaluation of a policy that may be able to assist lone parents in making the transition from welfare to work.