Presentation on theme: "An Introduction to the Families and Children Study (FACS)"— Presentation transcript:
1 An Introduction to the Families and Children Study (FACS) DWP Social ResearchNational Centre for Social Research
2 Contents Overview of FACS Sample design Questionnaire content Accessing dataPublicationsFurther information
3 Overview of FACS Formerly Survey of Low Income Families (SOLIF) Started in 1999 (Wave 1) - sample of low-income couples and lone parents at all income levelsFrom 2001 sample represents all families - became FACS at this pointQuestionnaire content has changed over the wavesFACS is a refreshed panel survey, which started in 1999 and annual surveys are currently planned until Whilst the same people are followed at each wave, new people are also added to refresh the sample each year.
4 Sample FACS is a refreshed panel study There are two components cross-section: representative of all familiespanel: those interviewed in previous wavesSample frame = child benefit recordsMain respondent usually the mother
5 Cross-cutting Department for Work and Pensions (child poverty) Inland Revenue (tax credits)Department for Education and Skills (childcare)Department for Transport (travel to school)Children and Young Persons Unit (youth services)Sure Start (early childhood)Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (social exclusion)
7 Data format Family level datasets Separate child level datasets Single flat filesSmall set of derived variables added to each fileNo values have been declared missing on the files supplied. Generally speaking, for variables based on the questionnaire,(999)8 means ‘not answered’(999)9 means ‘don’t know’and these are indicated as value labels.These codes are entered into the imputation flag (variables ending ‘x’) where imputation has been carried out.
8 Data - number of cases Low-income + lone parent sample All families Wave 1 (1999) cross-section, approx. 4,700 familiesWave 1-4 panel, approx. 2,700 familiesAll familiesWave 3 (2001), cross-section, approx. 8,000 familiesWave 3-4 panel, approx. 6,700 familiesFamily levelEach row of data represents a family in that year’s dataset. The rows include main respondent, partner and child level information. In 2002, a separate child-level file contains most of the child level data. Families are defined as those with dependent children – dependent children being under the age of 16 or 16 to 18 but in full-time education. Information about other adult members of the family that don’t meet the ‘dependency’ criteria is held in the household grid. As mentioned earlier, families that have become families with no dependent children are still interviewed – this policy is being kept under review.Child-LevelInformation about children is contained within the family level datasets.Child level variables are prefixed by ‘C’ (after any wave identifier). The children within each household are assigned a number, which appears at the end of the variable name. There is provision for up to nine dependent children within each family (up to 2000; then expanded to 14).For example, wCDOB01 Date of birth (child 1)For 1999 to 2001 there are no datasets distributed where each child represents a row of data, i.e. there being a record for each child of every family. However, from 2002 onwards, hierarchical datasets have been produced where a family level and child level dataset are produced separately. The household serial number (SERIALNO) is assigned to each child on each row of data and each child within a family has an identifier (dPERSNO in 2002) based on their position in the household grid. Child-level datasets are likely to be available for all future waves.Partner levelwPARTNER indicates whether there is a partner in the household or not.The variable names for information pertaining to partners are prefixed by a ‘P’ (although this comes after any wave identifying prefix).For example, wPUSPAY (Usual pay –weekly) relates to the partner, whereas wUSPAY relates to the main respondent.
9 How to access the dataData and documentation available from data archiveSN 4427 Families and Children Survey (FACS), ; Waves 1-4Wave 5 (2003) available late 2004
10 Documents supplied with the data Codebooks – listings of variablesDerived variables – details of what is supplied and how derivedImputation – what’s been imputed and howQuestionnaires – Word and CAPI versionsWeights – details of useUser guide - hints on how to use FACS
11 Main publications Wave 1 (1999) Wave 2 (2000) Wave 3 (2001) Low-income families in Britain [DWP RR no. 138]Wave 2 (2000)WFTC & work ; Living standards ; Family change Wave 3 (2001)Family change ; WFTC ; Living standards and children ; Work and childcare Wave 4 (2002)Families and Children in Britain 2002 Technical reports each year
12 Further Information FACS user website FACS work in progress (FACS Analysis Programme)FACS respondent websiteNational Centre for Social Research website