Department for Work and Pensions
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Publication of DWP in-house research report evaluation of the Jobcentre Plus intensive activity trial for substance misusing customers

Yesterday, the Department for Work and Pensions published the findings from the evaluation of a small-scale Jobcentre Plus trial aimed at customers suffering from drug and alcohol addiction.

The Intensive Activity trial took place between May and July 2010 and offered an enhanced service to claimants with dependency issues including the regular presence of a treatment provider in Jobcentres.  The trial was designed to help understand some of the issues that affect claimants’ propensity to disclose their addiction, to improve partnership working between treatment providers and Jobcentres and to increase the level of voluntarily referrals to treatment.

The evaluation, carried out by DWP social researchers, involved qualitative research with key stakeholders and the monitoring of management information.

The main findings are:

  • There was a moderate increase in the number of referrals to treatment providers in each of the three Jobcentres involved, although results were variable.
  • Stakeholders’ general perceptions of the trial (with a few exceptions) were that it had been a success.
  • Key positive outcomes from the trial include improved relationships between the treatment providers and Jobcentre Plus, and improved confidence, awareness and understanding among Jobcentre Plus staff around supporting substance misusing customers.
  • Closer working between Jobcentre Plus and local treatment providers along with Jobcentre Plus outreach at treatment provider premises; referring addicts to experienced advisers; and having a Drug Champion (a member of Jobcentre Plus staff who has taken responsibility for leading on drug strategy issues) in each office were shown to be effective ways of working with these customers.
  • The trial also highlighted a tension between Jobcentre Plus productivity targets and time needed with individual claimants to fully explore complex issues around addiction, and to encourage referral to treatment.

Notes to Editors:

  1. DWP In-House Research Report No  – Evaluation of the Jobcentre Plus Intensive Activity Trial for substance misusing customers – is published on 10th May 2011 by Corporate Document Services. The research was conducted by Cate Fisher at DWP.
  2. The report is available free on the DWP website

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