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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 main objectives was to compare the living standards and outcomes for children and for families across the income distribution.
Main Topics/Subject Category
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
Great Britain, age, alcohol consumption, antisocial behaviour, application for employment, appointment to job, attitudes, basic needs, bedrooms, building maintenance, bullying, businesses, care of the sick, child care, child day care, child support payments, children, chronic illness, clothing, cohabitation, communities, community participation, commuting, computers, confectionery, costs, council tax, credit, criminal damage, cultural goods, debilitative illness, debts, disabled persons, divorce, domestic appliances, domestic violence, drinking offences, driving licences, drug abuse, economic activity, educational attendance, educational background, educational courses, electric power supply, emotional states, employees, employment, employment history, employment programmes, ethnic groups, expenditure, families, family roles, financial resources, financial support, friends, fruit, gender, health, health services, heating systems, holidays, home ownership, homework, household budgets, households, housing, housing conditions, housing tenure, ill health, income, income tax, interpersonal conflict, interpersonal relations, interpersonal trust, investment, job description, job hunting, job security, job vacancies, landlords, legal decisions, leisure time activities, local community facilities, marital history, meals, meat, minimum wages, mortgages, motor
Identifier Variables
Area of Health System
Data Available
Risk behaviours, Socio-economic, Demographic
Data collecting organization (s)
National Centre for Social Research and Department for Work and Pensions
Data Type
Survey (longitudinal)
Coverage (date of field work)
1999, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005
Unit of Analysis
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. *Wave 1: 5,397 cases *Wave 2: 5,250 cases *Wave 3: 8,541 cases *Wave 4: 7,352 cases *Wave 5: 7,746 cases *Wave 6: 7,471 cases *Wave 7: 7,657 cases
UK Data Archive, ESDS longitudinal
Conditions of Access
Free registration access
Spencer, M. Maternal education, lone parenthood, material hardship, maternal smoking, and longstanding respiratory problems in childhood: testing a hierarchical conceptual framework. J Epidemiol Community Health 2005; 59: 842–846