|Why have I been chosen to take part?
We have chosen families at random from every family that receives
child benefit. We take extra special care to ensure that, taken together,
all the families we have chosen are representative of all families
Over 9,000 families from all over the country have been chosen.
Each family that is selected is an important part of our overall picture
and therefore, if a family cannot take part for any reason, they cannot
be replaced by another family.
You might find that some of your neighbours will also have been invited
to take part. This is because we have randomly selected certain areas
on which to focus (this includes your neighbourhood). The areas we
have chosen are right across the country, so that when all the interviews
have finished, we will have collected information from people who
live right across Britain in the full range of different neighbourhoods.
But you interviewed me last year…
A key aspect of the Families and Children Study is that it is longitudinal.
This means that we follow every family year on year to see how people's
circumstances change. This makes the study unique as it provides
the Government with information on how family life is changing over
time and the effect that different policies such as Tax Credits
are actually having on people's lives.
This makes it especially important that the families we have selected
continue to take part every year. If families are unable to take part
we lose crucial data on whether their circumstances have got better
or worse or whether they feel local services have improved. As a result,
the Government has less information about how its policies are working
Being part of the Families and Children Study panel is a relatively
small commitment. It involves taking part in an interview of about
an hour in length once a year. A very small number of people will
be invited to take part in follow-up studies (because their circumstances
are of particular interest), though taking part in these is entirely
What's in it for me?
The information you give us about your views and circumstances will
enable the Government to act and make improvements for the people
who most need them.
So you will be doing a favour for the whole of society and - possibly
- for families in similar circumstances to your own.
You will receive a £10 high street
voucher as a 'thank you' for agreeing to take part.
We also hope that you find taking part both interesting and enjoyable
- please let the interviewer know what you think of the questionnaire,
we welcome your feedback.