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Study of Families with Children in Britain

Outline: Information about British children and families as a whole across a wide range of subjects in Britain.

Main Digest

06 July 2010 - Publication of DWP research report: Families with children in Britain: findings from the 2008 families and children study (FACS).

Research published today by the Department for Work and Pensions explores the characteristics and circumstances of families and children in 2008. The report is based on analysis of the Families and Children Study (FACS). This is a longitudinal survey focusing on the circumstances of families in Britain. The study began in 1999, with a representative sample of all lone parents and low/moderate income couple families. From 2001 a representative sample of lone parents and all couple families with dependent children were interviewed.

FACS provides information about children, their parents and families as a whole across a wide range of subjects. The first part of the report focuses on the circumstances, lives and conditions of families, and topics covered include: family characteristics, health, education, work, income, benefits and tax credits, social capital, money management, housing and deprivation. The second part of the report focuses on the circumstances, conditions and lives of children, and topics covered include: child characteristics, health, schooling, children's activities, childcare and child maintenance.

The report published today is: DWP Research Report No. 656 'Families with Children in Britain: Findings from the 2008 Families and Children Study (FACS)' by Natalie Maplethorpe, Jenny Chanfreau, Dan Philo and Clare Tait.

The main findings are that:

Background to the research

  1. The sample was drawn from Child Benefit records. Interviews with 5,891 families with a total of 10,748 dependent children were conducted between October 2008 and January 2009. Main interviews were conducted with the 'mother figure' in the household, including a proxy interview about the partner.
  2. The National Center for Social Research (NatCen) conducted the fieldwork for the research and the analysis of FACS contained in this report.
  3. 'Families With Children in Britain: Findings from the 2008 Families and children study (FACS)' by Natalie Maplethorpe, Jenny Chanfreau, Dan Philo and Clare Tait. DWP Research Report Series No. 656 will be published in July 2010. A summary and copy of the report is available on the DWP website: research.dwp.gov.uk/asd/asd5/

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