Child poverty pathfinders - early implementation process: evaluation

This report explores the early set-up and implementation of the Child Poverty Pathfinders. The research uses in-depth qualitative findings to understand what has been working well and what has been working less well during the development stage.

Appendix 4: Recruitment and demographics of parents/carers involved in qualitative interviews

This section contains more details on the recruitment methods used to engage parents/carers in qualitative interviews.


In Dundee, the evaluation team were invited to spend two days on-site at the Dundee drop-in hub, a service linked to the Pathfinder. Researchers spent the day engaging with parents/carers as they came in. The researchers provided each person with information about the research, and made sure that each participant was aware of their rights to anonymity and that involvement was voluntary. The research was conducted in a trauma-informed way, which means that choice and flexibility were offered. For example, in Dundee, one researcher attended the drop-in hub for a full day on two occasions, which were one week apart. Parents/carers who were attending the drop-in hub had previously been offered information about the research being conducted. When the researcher attended, she made herself known to staff, and was available to speak to potential participants about the research. Those who expressed an interest in taking part were then offered further information, including consent processes. Potential participants were given the option to take part in research face-to-face in a private space at the drop-in hub, or to take part later, via telephone. All parents/carers who agreed to take part in Dundee opted to do so in-person. The researcher who conducted the interviews had been briefed and was trained to read both verbal and non-verbal indicators of people's willingness to take part, and their understanding of consent and how the data they provided would be used.

In total, 20 interviews took place with parents/carers at the Dundee drop-in hub. In some of the interviews, parents/carers brought friends and/or relatives to the interview for support. In these cases, friends and relatives were welcomed, as this helped some interviewees to feel more comfortable. In such cases, although others were present, only the parent/carer answered the interview questions, which means that the total number of participants who took part in the parent/carer interviews in Dundee was 20, although the numbers present in the interviews was higher. All parents/carers who took part in the interviews had dependents aged 16 years or under.

Most of the people who were invited to take part in the interviews in Dundee agreed to do so. The only exceptions to this occurred on three occasions where young mothers, who were defined as being under 25 years of age attended the interview, learned more about what would be involved and then decided not to continue. On these occassions, the young women expressed that they did not feel comfortable sharing their views, and that they were too shy to continue. In these instances, the researcher provided reassurance about the voluntary nature of participation and the right to withdraw and thanked them for their time. Mothers under the age of 25 with children under the age of two have been identified as a key priority group for the Pathfinders. Consenting and then withdrawing consent, due to feeling uncomfortable or too shy to proceed, did not occur with any other demographic group, which suggests that a different approach may be required to increase participation among this group in future studies.


The research team consulted with the Glasgow Pathfinder leadership team to discuss the most effective/appropriate methods to use for the parent/carer interviews within the Glasgow site. The leadership team conveyed that because the most client facing aspects of the Glasgow Pathfinder took place via telephone, it would be appropriate to conduct the parent/carer interviews via telephone. It was agreed that a dedicated member of the Glasgow Helps team would support the evaluation by conducting participant recruitment on behalf of Rocket Science. The member of the Glasgow Helps team discussed the study with parents/carers in circumstances where it was deemed appropriate and ethical to do so. Resultantly, it is not possible to eliminate the possibility of sampling bias and it is possible that those who took part in the interviews were those who had had positive experiences of using the service. In total, 16 interviews were conducted in the Glasgow site, and all were conducted via telephone. One participant required a translation service to enable participation and this was arranged.

Figure 1, below, presents the demographic breakdown of the families involved in the qualitative interviews.

  Glasgow Dundee
Number of children:
  • 1-2 children
7 5
  • 3 or more children
9 15
  • Single parent/carer
12 14
  • Living with partner
4 6
  • In work
5 2
  • Not in work
11 17
  • Retired
- 1
  • White- Scottish / British
12 18
  • White- Other
1 2
  • British- Pakistani
1 -
  • Syrian
1 -
  • Iraqi
1 -
  • Parent/carer with one or more disability
7 10
  • Partner or children with a disability
4 6
  • Both (Parent/carer and partner or child)
2 3
  • No disabilities
3 1
Total 16 20

It should be noted that although demographic data on the participants in the family interviews is presented above, the families interviewed were not intended to be a representative sample of the families receiving support from the Glasgow and Dundee Pathfinders. Rather, the characteristics detailed above represent priority groups which have been identified as being at a higher risk of poverty. No data is currently available on the demographic profile of Pathfinder participants who did not participate in the research to allow a comparison.



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