Mr. Robert Ainsworth
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what information is used to decide the relative weight given to the different factors used in the estimate of children at risk in respect of the standard spending assessment.
§ Mr. Baldry
The estimate of children at risk used in the personal social services standard spending assessment for children is based on the children in need index. This index is based on four indicators, with the following weightings:
- (i) the proportion of dependent children aged under 18 in lone parent families (weight of 3);
- (ii) the proportion of household residents under 16 years of age living in rented accommodation (weight of 1);
- (iii) the proportion of children who were dependent children of claimants receiving income support (weight of 1);
- (iv) the number of homeless households with dependent children or a pregnant woman accepted as in priority need for permanent accommodation, relative to the number of residents under 18 years of age (weight of 1).
The selection of indicators and the weights applied were based on detailed statistical analysis and previous research findings. In particular, the personal social services research unit at the university of Kent has carried out detailed research on the factors involved.