Presentation on theme: "Counting the Homeless in the UK Census"— Presentation transcript:
1 Counting the Homeless in the UK Census By Emma Wood,Head of Field Force Operations, ONS
2 Enumeration of homeless/rootless Enumeration of those in hostels and night sheltersEnumeration of Rough Sleepers2001- Methodology, outcome and lessons learnt2011 Research and current plans
3 Homeless Rootless Next UK Census 27 March 2011 People will be counted where they are usually residentPeople staying in a household with no usual residence counted where they are stayingNot distinguishable from other household residents.
4 Hostels and Nightshelters Treated as Communal EstablishmentsEstablishment managers complete questionnaire about the establishmentThose staying their complete an Individual questionnaire – assuming they have no usual residence elsewhereEstablishment Manager responsible for getting Questionnaires out and back from those staying there.Questionnaires delivered and collected by Census staff who will support Manager.
5 Counting Rough Sleepers - 2001 Conducted 29/30 April 2001 between 22:00 and 06:00.Used teams of Census field staff with support from Local Authorities and outreach workers.Individual completed questionnaire or Enumerators did this on their behalf.Sleepers not woken up – Enumerators guessed basic demographic information
6 Rough Sleepers – 2001 Results 938 Rough Sleepers counted 866 staff required to achieve this countSome local counts contradicted Census counts – some Census counts disputed
7 Rough Sleepers 2001 – Lessons learnt Needed more help from voluntary sector and LAs to improve quality and cost effectiveness.Very difficult to balance requirements of central government, local government and voluntary sector and still carry out an independent count.
8 Towards ResearchLiaising with Department for Communities and Local GovernmentLocal Authorities must conduct counts at least once a year if more than ten rough sleepersObserved Local Authority count in Westminster – attracts a lot of Rough Sleepers and conducts counts twice a year
9 Westminster countWestminster divided into sectors. Teams of two sent to count – paired voluntary sector staff with Local Authority staffIndependent verifier usedLocal Police used to follow-up missing informationApproach much more informal then a Census Enumeration
10 Westminster – who was included in the count People sleeping or bedded down in the open air (such as on the streets, or in doorways, parks or bus shelters), people in buildings or other places not designed for habitation (such as barns, sheds, car parks, cars derelict boats or stations).
11 Westminster CountMany people encountered did not fit the precise definition of ‘bedded down’However, precise definition needed to prevent double countingUsed team of approx 35 to count approx 70Very good use of local knowledge and expertise of working with this group
12 Future trends Aim to end Rough Sleeping by 2012 More investment in day time supportFewer opportunites to sleep rough
13 Plans for 2011Had hoped to conduct LA counts around time of Census and use the data gathered to collect key demographic questions for Census.Now ruled out – Census regulations mean individuals must get opportunity to complete their own questionnairesPossible change of government in 2010 would be a significant risk
14 Plans for 2011Now likely to use a Census field force to count rough sleepers as in 2001Working with membership organisation for UK homeless agencies – Homeless LinkInvestigating ways of increasing the number of LA and voluntary sector helpers – to be involved in the count or in the trainingConsidering how we will spread the message to the voluntary sector and to Rough Sleepers that the Census is beneficial
15 Conclusions Counting Rough Sleepers is a big challenge Difficult to balance quality with cost effectivenessAnswer lies in statistical organisations forming relationships with homelessness organisations and in utilising expertise