benefits and personal finance

This research report presents findings from a qualitative study specifically designed to explore the effects of benefit sanctions on lone parents' employment decisions and moves into employment. Forty lone parents who had been referred for a sanction following non-attendance at a Work Focused Interview (WFI) were interviewed in depth. Focus groups were also carried out with Jobcentre Plus staff.

This report summarises the final evaluation report of the Working for Families Fund (WFF) programme from 2004-08. It was carried out by the Employment Research Institute, Napier University, Edinburgh, for the Scottish Government over this period.

Over the four years the budget for WFF was £50 million, a total of 25,508 clients were registered, 53% of all clients (13,594) achieved 'hard' outcomes, such as employment, and a further 13% (3,283) achieved other significant outcomes.

Ministers asked the Take Up Taskforce to develop ways to help local services to support parents to access all their relevant benefit entitlements, in order to help tackle child poverty.

Many poor families are not taking up all of the financial support to which they are entitled and there are particularly low rates of take up by families where at least one parent is working. Lack of awareness of available in-work financial entitlements can present a barrier to parents entering and sustaining work.

This report presents the findings of a qualitative evaluation of the Jobseeker Mandatory Activity (JMA) pilot. The JMA provided extra support to help Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) claimants back into the labour market.

The focus was on those aged 25 years or more that had been claiming benefits for six months. The intervention comprised a three-day work-focused course delivered by external providers followed by three Jobcentre Plus personal adviser interviews. The pilot was tested in ten areas over a two-year period with the first customers entering provision in April 2006.

A stakeholder task and finish group was formed to advise Welsh Assembly Government Ministers on options for introducing consistency to non residential social care charges. This report begins with a summary of the consultation activity and an overview of stakeholder views. The main focus of the report is identifying and assessing policy options aimed at achieving greater consistency in charging for non residential social care services in Wales.

People who have a range of needs including homelessness and mental health and substance use problems, and are involved with the criminal justice system, often live at the margins of our society. This research aimed to examine this group’s abilities to access financial services, their financial management skills and the interplay between key life events, mental health and offending.

This report summarises the findings of the Final Evaluation of the Working for Families Fund (WFF). WFF, which operated from 2004-08, invested in initiatives to remove childcare barriers and improve the employability of disadvantaged parents who have barriers to participating in the labour market, specifically to help them move towards, into, or continue in employment, education or training. The programme was administered by 20 local authorities (which covered 79% of Scotland’s population), operating through around 226 locally based public, private and third-sector projects.

The purpose of this study was to inform the DWP's approach to tackling fraud and error and find practical ways of improving the prompt reporting of changes in circumstances by benefit claimants, covering jobseekers' allowance, income support, housing and council tax benefit and pension credit and exploring awareness of the type of information that needs to be reported, when, which authority should be informed and other factors.