Call for separated fathers for research project

4 April 2007

The National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) is urgently looking for fathers who have separated from their partner to take part in testing a questionnaire, in preparation for a survey of parents about the arrangements they make after separation. The researchers are looking for separated fathers with children aged 0-19 who are not living with them (and who have not been involved with the Child Support Agency), and who live in the London area. All participants will receive £20, and fathers interested in taking part need to contact NatCen by 17th April.

NatCen is an independent, non-profit social research institute. It carries out many important national research studies, for government departments, research councils and charitable foundations. This study is being funded by the Department for Work and Pensions, and the main survey, starting later this year, will gather information from 2,500 parents. The research will help the Government to form policy which can better meet the needs of separated parents and their families.

Fathers Direct is publicising this research because we have the greatest respect for the National Centre’s work, and we very much hope we can help them develop a good and representative sample of fathers.

Information about the survey

The aim of the survey is to help gain a better understanding of the views and experiences of parents after separation. The topics covered by the questions will include experiences of separation, sources of help and guidance used, and experiences, if any, of child maintenance arrangements. The research will help the Government to form policy which can better meet the needs of separated parents and their families. The survey is being funded by the Department for Work and Pensions, and the main survey, starting later this year, will gather information from 2,500 parents. A report of findings will be published in 2008 and DWP normally publishes all research reports on its website. When the report has been published, all respondents will be sent a summary of the research.

How dads can get involved

NatCen would like to talk to fathers who have separated from their partner, with children (aged 0-19) who are either not living with them or living with them less than half the time, who have not been in contact with the Child Support Agency (CSA), and who live in the London area. It will take about an hour of participants’ time, and as a token of our thanks, they will receive £20 in cash. Responses will be used only for research purposes and treated in the strictest of confidence. The research procedures involved are fully compliant with the Data Protection Act 1998. Anything said during the interview will not be linked to respondents’ names when NatCen reports the findings to DWP. Instead, the results of the study will be reported in general terms – for example, the report might say “60% of parents said that…” and so on.

Contact details

Email Shelagh Walsh at NatCen or phone her on 020 7549 9584, by 17th April, and she will arrange a convenient time and place for interviews.

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