HC Deb 01 June 1998 vol 313 cc110-1W
Mr. Webb

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security, pursuant to her answer of 18 May 1998,Official Report, column 285, if she will list the variables which are considered in the management data routinely collected on the New Deal for Lone Parents; if she will make a statement on the reasons why housing status is not included; and what plans she has to include such information in the future. [43593]

Mr. Keith Bradley

Management data show the numbers of lone parents who have reached the various key stages in the New Deal for Lone Parents process.

The information collected records:

  • the number of initial invitation letters issued;
  • the number of initial interviews with Personal Advisers booked;
  • the number of initial interviews which have taken place;
  • the number of lone parents who agree to participate in the programme following an initial interview;
  • the total number of interviews conducted (including initial interviews);
  • the number of referrals to Employment Service programmes or other training;
  • the number of jobs obtained following participation;
  • the number of lone parents who have increased their hours of work following participation.

These points mark the key milestones in the New Deal for Lone Parents process, and the information is collected and collated on a monthly basis.

The following additional information is also collected for each positive work outcome (each case where either a job has been obtained or hours of work have been increased): for the first work outcome for each participant, a record is kept of whether the hours of work are (a) under 16 hours per week; (b) 16 to 29 hours per week; or (c) 30 hours or more per week; whether the outcome has led to a move off Income Support; whether the lone parent has a child under 5 years and 3 months; for those whose youngest child is over 5 years and 3 months, whether the lone parent put themselves forward before receiving an invitation letter; in cases where the lone parent has obtained a job not identified by their Personal Adviser, whether they have received other assistance under the New Deal for Lone Parents (such as referral to training, in-work benefit calculations, help with interview skills, preparation of a CV etc); and whether those moving into work were given help with making an application for Family Credit.

Other information may be collected on an ad hoc basis, for example, by interrogation, on a case-by-case basis, of DSS/local authority computer systems and clerical records.

The management data collected are designed to show the extent of participation in and process through the New Deal for Lone Parents programme. In this context it is not appropriate to collect information on other characteristics, such as housing status, of the lone parents who participate.

Full independent evaluation of the New Deal for Lone Parents is being carried out by a research consortium led by Social and Community Planning Research on behalf of the Department. The evaluation will consider housing status and mortgage payments in its assessment. The final evaluation report will be published in autumn 1999.

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