Catalogue

UK Data Service data catalogue record for:

Families and Children Study: Waves 1-10, 1999-2008

Title details

SN: 4427
Title: Families and Children Study: Waves 1-10, 1999-2008
Alternative title: FACS
Persistent identifier: 10.5255/UKDA-SN-4427-1
Series: Families and Children Study
Depositor: Department for Work and Pensions
Principal investigator(s): National Centre for Social Research
Department for Work and Pensions
Data collector(s): National Centre for Social Research
Sponsor(s): Department for Work and Pensions
HM Revenue and Customs
Department for Education and Skills
Department for Transport
Other acknowledgements: Alan Marsh was sole depositor for Wave 1 (1999), but was joint depositor with Analytical Services Division 5, Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), for the deposit of Waves 2 and 3. The Policy Studies Institute (PSI) was the Principal Investigator for the original Waves 1 to 3. From Wave 4, the DWP have deposited the data.

The Department of Social Security (DSS) became the DWP during 2001. Waves 1 and 2 of the survey were commissioned under the former name.

Subject Categories

Child development and child rearing - Social stratification and groupings
Family life and marriage - Social stratification and groupings
General - Employment and labour
Income, property and investment - Economics
Social indicators and quality of life - Society and culture
Use and provision of specific social services - Social welfare policy and systems
Youth - Social stratification and groupings

Abstract

The Families and Children Study (FACS), formerly known as the Survey of Low Income Families (SOLIF), originally provided a new baseline survey of Britain's lone-parent families and low-income couples with dependent children. The survey was named SOLIF for Waves 1 and 2, and FACS from Wave 3 onwards.

The FACS study has become a 'true panel', whereby 1999 respondents have been re-interviewed in subsequent annual waves in from 2000 to 2004, and new families added in each of these years, to allow representative cross-section as well as longitudinal comparisons. Starting with Wave 3 (2001) the survey was extended to include higher-income families, thereby yielding a complete sample of all British families (and the subsequent name change). From Wave 4 (2002) onwards, longitudinal comparisons can now be made.

The main objectives of the survey are to:
  • evaluate the effectiveness of the Government's work incentive measures in terms of helping people into work, improving living standards and improving child outcomes
  • compare the living standards and outcomes for children and for families across the income distribution
  • compare changes in the above across the waves since 1999
FACS also aims to provide commentary on longer-term objectives such as the Government's Public Service Agreement to eradicate child poverty within a generation.

Further information, including links to reports and other publications, may be found on the DWP FACS web pages.

Users should note that, in addition to the survey name change noted above, some of the documentation for the early waves refers to the survey as the Study of Families with Children.

The original deposit of FACS, released in December 2001, contained data and documentation from the first wave. Further waves have been added at subsequent editions in 2003, 2004 (twice), 2005, 2006 and 2007.

For the eighth edition (October 2010), three major changes were made to the study: data and documentation for Waves 8-10 were deposited for the first time; updated and improved data and documentation for Waves 3-7 were deposited to replace previous materials; and updated documentation covering all waves was deposited. Details of improvements to the redeposited Wave 3-7 data are included in the all waves user guide. For the ninth edition (January 2011), the Wave 10 technical report was added to the study.

Main Topics:
The FACS interviews comprise:
  • one hour interview for the main respondent (typically the mother figure in the household)
  • a 20 minute partner interview
Topics covered in the main interview include household characteristics, health and well-being, children's schooling, behaviour and childcare provision, use of local services, education and training, employment, family income, in-work support through the use of Working Families' Tax Credits (and its replacement tax credit system), receipt of benefits, child maintenance, money management and savings, housing, and material deprivation. The Wave 7 (2005) questionnaire included a new section on social capital for main respondents and partners.

Partners in the household were also interviewed up to Wave 8. For Waves 9 and 10, a short proxy interview was completed with the main respondent.

Waves 1-3 (1999-2001) also included a self-completion questionnaire for the main respondent and their partner, covering morale and various attitudinal questions. This was dropped for Wave 4.

Waves 5, 6, 8, 9 and 10 (but not Wave 7) included a short self-completion questionnaire for all children aged 11 to 15 in the family. The children's questionnaire covered leisure time activities, computer access, social participation, sport and organised activities, use of local amenities and attitudes to neighbourhood, alcohol use, smoking, illegal drug use, self-esteem, health and happiness, attitudes to school and schoolwork, relationship with parents, and income.

For Waves 5-7, SPSS syntax files detailing specifications for derived variables are also available with the dataset.

Coverage, universe, methodology

Time period: Coverage is mostly contemporary, but the survey includes a two-year work and benefit history.
Dates of fieldwork: Dates of fieldwork were as follows:
Wave 1 (baseline data): July to September 1999
Wave 2: June to October 2000
Wave 3: September 2001 - January 2002
Wave 4: September 2002 - January 2003
Wave 5: September 2003- January 2004
Wave 6: September 2004 - January 2005
Wave 7: September 2005 - January 2006
Wave 8: September 2006 - March 2007
Wave 9: September 2007 - February 2008
Wave 10: September 2008 - February 2009
Country: Great Britain
Spatial units: Government Office Regions
Observation units: Individuals
Families/households
Kind of data: Numeric data
Individual (micro) level
Universe: National
Low income families
Single parents
The study was initially based on interviews with low-income parents living in Great Britain during 1999. From 2001 onwards, higher-income couples were included to yield a complete sample of all British families with dependent children. Parents were defined as anyone over the age of 15 years who had parental custody of either a child aged 16 years or less, or 18 years or less and in full-time education. See documentation for further details.
Time dimensions: Longitudinal/panel/cohort
Ten waves have been conducted so far.
Sampling procedures: Multi-stage stratified random sample
Number of units: Wave 1: 4,659 cases
Wave 2: 4,720 cases
Wave 3: 8,057 cases
Wave 4: 7,878 cases
Wave 5: 7,740 cases
Wave 6: 7,469 cases
Wave 7: 7,656 cases
Wave 8: 7,461 cases
Wave 9: 5,818 cases
Wave 10: 5,888 cases
Method of data collection: Face-to-face interview; Self-completion
Weighting: Weighting used. See documentation for details

Keywords

AGEALCOHOL CONSUMPTIONANTISOCIAL BEHAVIOUR
APPLICATION FOR EMPLOYMENTAPPOINTMENT TO JOBATTITUDES
BASIC NEEDSBEDROOMSBUILDING MAINTENANCE
BULLYINGBUSINESSESCARE OF THE SICK
CHILD CARECHILD DAY CARECHILD SUPPORT PAYMENTS
CHILDRENCHRONIC ILLNESSCLOTHING
COHABITATIONCOMMUNITIESCOMMUNITY PARTICIPATION
COMMUTINGCOMPUTERSCONFECTIONERY
COSTSCOUNCIL TAXCREDIT
CRIMINAL DAMAGECULTURAL GOODSDEBILITATIVE ILLNESS
DEBTSDISABLED PERSONSDIVORCE
DOMESTIC APPLIANCESDOMESTIC VIOLENCEDRINKING OFFENCES
DRIVING LICENCESDRUG ABUSEECONOMIC ACTIVITY
EDUCATIONAL ATTENDANCEEDUCATIONAL BACKGROUNDEDUCATIONAL COURSES
ELECTRIC POWER SUPPLYEMOTIONAL STATESEMPLOYEES
EMPLOYMENTEMPLOYMENT HISTORYEMPLOYMENT PROGRAMMES
ETHNIC GROUPSEXPENDITUREFAMILIES
FAMILY ROLESFINANCIAL RESOURCESFINANCIAL SUPPORT
FRIENDSFRUITGENDER
GREAT BRITAINHEALTHHEALTH SERVICES
HEATING SYSTEMSHOLIDAYSHOME OWNERSHIP
HOMEWORKHOURS OF WORKHOUSEHOLD BUDGETS
HOUSEHOLDSHOUSINGHOUSING CONDITIONS
HOUSING TENUREILL HEALTHINCOME
INCOME TAXINTERPERSONAL CONFLICTINTERPERSONAL RELATIONS
INTERPERSONAL TRUSTINVESTMENTJOB DESCRIPTION
JOB HUNTINGJOB SECURITYJOB VACANCIES
LANDLORDSLEGAL DECISIONSLEISURE TIME ACTIVITIES
LOCAL COMMUNITY FACILITIESMARITAL HISTORYMEALS
MEATMEDICINAL DRUGSMINIMUM WAGES
MORTGAGESMOTOR VEHICLESNEIGHBOURHOODS
NEIGHBOURSOBJECTIVESOCCUPATIONAL TRAINING
ONE-PARENT FAMILIESPARENT-CHILD RELATIONSHIPPARENTS
PERSONAL CONTACTPERSONAL DEBT REPAYMENTPOCKET MONEY
POOR PERSONSPOVERTYPRESCRIPTION DRUGS
PRIVATE PENSIONSPROFITSQUALIFICATIONS
QUALITY OF LIFEREFUSERENTED ACCOMMODATION
RENTSRESPIRATORY TRACT DISEASESSAVINGS
SCHOOL HOLIDAYSSCHOOL PUNISHMENTSSCHOOLS
SCHOOLTEACHERSSELF-EMPLOYEDSELF-ESTEEM
SHARED HOME OWNERSHIPSHARESSMOKING
SOCIAL ACTIVITIES (LEISURE)SOCIAL AND WELFARE POLICYSOCIAL CAPITAL
SOCIAL HOUSINGSOCIAL INTEGRATIONSOCIAL LIFE
SOCIAL PARTICIPATIONSOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITSSOCIAL SECURITY CONTRIBUTIONS
SOCIAL SUPPORTSOCIAL WELFARESPECIAL NEEDS EDUCATION
SPEECH THERAPYSPOUSESSPOUSE'S ECONOMIC ACTIVITY
STANDARD OF LIVINGSTEPCHILDRENSTUDENT TRANSPORTATION
SUBCONTRACTINGSUBSIDIARY EMPLOYMENTSUPERVISORY STATUS
TAX RELIEFTAXATIONTELEPHONES
TEMPORARY HOUSINGTRADE UNION MEMBERSHIPUNEMPLOYMENT
VEGETABLESWAGESWORK ATTITUDE
WORKING MOTHERSWORKING WOMENYOUTH GUIDANCE SERVICES

Administrative and access information

Date of release:
First edition: 12 December 2001
Latest edition: 17 January 2011 (9th Edition)
Copyright: Crown copyright material is reproduced with the permission of the Controller of HMSO and the Queen's Printer for Scotland
Access conditions: The depositor has specified that registration is required and standard conditions of use apply. The depositor may be informed about usage. See terms and conditions of access for further information.
Availability: UK Data Service
Contact: Get in touch

Documentation

TitleFile NameSize (KB)
Waves 1-10 Income Variables Guide 4427income_variables_guide.xls 47
Waves 3-10 Table of Derived Variables 4427table_of_derived_variables_2001-2008.xls 69
Waves 3-10 Variable Guide 4427variable_guide_2001-2008.xls 1626
Waves 1-10 Derived Variables Specifications 4427facs1999-2008_derived_variables_specifications.pdf 564
Waves 1-10 User Guide 4427facs1999-2008_user_guide.pdf 479
Wave 1 Questionnaires 4427facs1999_questionnaires.pdf 363
Wave 2 Questionnaires 4427facs2000_questionnaires.pdf 465
Wave 3 Questionnaires 4427facs2001_questionnaires.pdf 900
Wave 3 Technical Report 4427facs2001_technical_report.pdf 2797
Wave 4 Questionnaires 4427facs2002_questionnaires.pdf 1034
Wave 4 Technical Report 4427facs2002_technical_report.pdf 3208
Wave 5 Questionnaire 4427facs2003_questionnaire.pdf 1075
Wave 5 Technical Report 4427facs2003_technical_report.pdf 4889
Wave 6 Questionnaires 4427facs2004_questionnaires.pdf 4611
Wave 6 Technical Report 4427facs2004_technical_report.pdf 4004
Wave 7 Questionnaire 4427facs2005_questionnaire.pdf 994
Wave 7 Technical Report 4427facs2005_technical_report.pdf 2069
Wave 8 Questionnaires 4427facs2006_questionnaires.pdf 3462
Wave 8 Technical Report 4427facs2006_technical_report.pdf 5139
Wave 9 Questionnaires 4427facs2007_questionnaires.pdf 993
Wave 9 Technical Report 4427facs2007_technical_report.pdf 3634
Wave 10 Questionnaires 4427facs2008_questionnaires.pdf 2084
Wave 10 Technical Report 4427facs2008_technical_report.pdf 3539
Study information and citation UKDA_Study_4427_Information.htm 26
READ File read4427.htm 11

Publications

By principal investigator(s):
Users are advised to buy the following technical reports:

Woodland, S. and Collins, D. (2000) Study of Families with Children: technical report, London: National Centre for Social Research.

Marsh, A. et al (2001) Low-income families in Britain: work, welfare and social security in 1999, DSS Research Report No. 138, London: Corporate Document Services.

Woodland, S. and Woodward, C. (2002) Families and Children Study (FACS) 2000: Wave 2 technical report, London: National Centre for Social Research.

Woodland, S. et al (2003) Families and Children Study (FACS) 2001: Wave 3 technical report, London: National Centre for Social Research.

Phillips, M., Miers, A. and Scholes, S. (2003) Families and Children Study (FACS) 2002: Wave 4 technical report, London: National Centre for Social Research.

Lyon, N., Scholes, S. and Tait, C. (2005) Families and Children Study (FACS) 2003: Wave 5 technical report, London: National Centre for Social Research.

Lyon, N., Scholes, S. and Tait, C. (2006) Families and Children Study (FACS) 2004: Wave 6 technical report, London: National Centre for Social Research.

Lyon, N., Mangla, J., Tait, C. and Scholes, S. (2007) Families and Children Study (FACS) 2005: Wave 7 technical report, London: National Centre for Social Research.

Other publications by the Principal Investigators include:

Marsh, A. et al (2001) Low-income families in Britain: work, welfare and social security in 1999, DSS Research Report No. 138, London: Corporate Document Services.

McKay, S. (2002) Low/moderate-income families in Britain: work, Working Families' Tax Credit and childcare in 2000, DWP Research Report No. 161, London: Corporate Document Services.

Vegeris, S. and McKay, S. (2002) Low/moderate income-families in Britain: changes in living standards, DWP Research Report No. 164, London: Corporate Document Services.

Marsh, A. and Rowlingson, K. (2002) Low/moderate income-families in Britain: changes in 1999-2000, DWP Research Report No. 165, London: Corporate Document Services.

McKay, S. (2003) Working Families' Tax Credit 2001, DWP Research Report No. 180, Leeds: Corporate Document Services.

Marsh, A. and Perry, J. (2003) Family change 1999 to 2001, DWP Research Report No. 181, Leeds: Corporate Document Services.

Vegeris, S and Perry, J. (2003) Families and children 2001: living standards and the children, DWP Research Report No. 190, Leeds: Corporate Document Services.

Kasparova, D. et al. (2003) Families and Children 2001: work and childcare, DWP Research Report No. 191, Leeds: Corporate Document Services.

Willitts, M. and Swales, K. (2003) Characteristics of large families, IAD, Social Research Division in-house report, London: DWP.

Barnes, M. and Willitts, M., with Anderson, T. et al. (2004) Families and Children in Britain: findings from the 2002 Families and Children Study (FACS), DWP Research Report No. 206, Leeds: Corporate Document Services.

Kempson, E., Mckay, S. and Willitts, M. (2004) Characteristics of families in debt and the nature of indebtedness, DWP Research Report No. 211, Leeds: Corporate Document Services.

Evans, M., Harkness, S. and Ortiz, R. (2004) Lone parents cycling between work and benefits, DWP Research Report No. 217, Leeds: Corporate Document Services.

Berthoud, R., Bryan, M. and Bardasi, E. (2004) The dynamics of deprivation: the relationship between income and material deprivation over time, DWP Research Report No. 219, Leeds: Corporate Document Services.

Barnes, M., et al. (2005) Family life in Britain: findings from the 2003 Families and Children Study (FACS), DWP Research Report No. 249, Leeds: Corporate Document Services.

Willitts, M., et al. (2005) Children in Britain: findings from the 2003 Families and Children Study (FACS), DWP Research Report No. 250, Leeds: Corporate Document Services.

Meadows, P and Rogger, D. (2005) Low income homeowners in Britain: descriptive analysis, DWP Research Report No. 251, Leeds: Corporate Document Services.

Brewer, M. and Paull, G. (2005) Newborns and new schools: critical times in women's employment, DWP Research Report No. 308, Leeds: Corporate Document Services.

Lyon, N., Barnes, M. and Sweiry, D. (2006) Families with children in Britain: findings from the 2004 Families and Children Study (FACS), DWP Research Report No. 340, Leeds: Corporate Document Services.

Lacovou, M. and Berthoud, R. (2006) The economic position of large families, DWP Research Report No. 358, Leeds: Corporate Document Services.

Barnes, M., Lyon, N. and Conolly, A. (2006) The living standards of children in bad housing, Research Findings, National Centre for Social Research.

Berthoud, R. and Blekesaune, M. (2007) Persistent employment disadvantage, DWP Research Report No. 416, Leeds: Corporate Document Services.

The DWP web site also includes a FACS publications webpage.

Resulting from secondary analysis:
Emerson, E. et al. (2006) 'Socio-economic position, household composition, health status and indicators of the well-being of mothers of children with and without intellectual disability', Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 50(12), pp.862-873.

Emerson, E. and Hatton, C. (2007) 'The socio-economic circumstances of children at risk of disability in Britain', Disability and Society, 22(6), pp.563-80.

Morris, S. (2007) Child support awards in Britain: an analysis of data from the Families and Children Study, CASEpaper 119, STICERD, Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, London School of Economics and Political Science.

Emerson, E., and Hatton, C. (2007) 'The contribution of socio-economic position to the health status of children and adolescents with intellectual disabilities in Britain: a replication', Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 51(11), pp.866-874.

Emerson, E., and Hatton, C. (2007) 'The socio-economic circumstances of children at risk of disability in Britain', Disability and Society, 22(6), pp.563-80.

Emerson, E., Shahtahmasebi, S., Berridge, D. and Lancaster, G. (2010) 'Factors associated with poverty transitions among families supporting a child with intellectual disability', Journal of Intellectual and Developmental Disability, 35, pp.224-234.

Shahtahmasebi, S., Emerson, E., Berridge, D. and Lancaster, G. (2010) 'A longitudinal analysis of poverty among families supporting a child a disability', International Journal of Disability and Human Development, 9, pp.65-75.


The Institute of Alcohol Studies (IAS) has produced a 'Data Dictionary' covering summary information on UK-based survey series (including FACS) that include any data on alcohol use. Further information and links to the dictionary documents may be found on the IAS Data Dictionary - Table of Contents web page.

Variables

Back to top