This interview-based CSRI was developed for use in an evaluation of the Homestart service for young families under stress. The CSRI for this study covers the usual fields: background data; employment and income; use of education, health and social care services (yes/no, frequency and average duration); and unpaid care supports. Most questions related to the previous three months, and the CSRI was supported by a comprehensive list of service options and the interviewers’ knowledge of local services.

Homestart offered trained volunteer support to families with children less than five years of age. This service context meant that there were some formatting changes to allow the focus to shift from an individual to the family. For this CSRI, it was important to record service use for all family members, rather than an individual. Moreover, as the study was undertaken in Northern Ireland and in South-East England, the researchers also needed to take into account the availability of country-specific services as well as local variations. The resource use tables, therefore, are not populated with service lists but were left blank, and space is provided to record systematically the services used by all the children in the family as well as parents. Shared services – perhaps the mother and a child seeing the GP at the same time – could also be recorded. While this made data coding and data entry more time-consuming, it allowed the interviewers more flexibility in administering the CSRI during the face-to-face interview.

Within an interview lasting about two hours that covered all the research questionnaires, the CSRI typically took between five and fifteen minutes to complete, and thus was only a small additional time burden on parents. Generally, parents had little problem answering the questions, and many kept personal records of the services they used so were confident about making an accurate estimate of frequency and duration.

The CSRI can be found here.

The manual for this CSRI can also be downloaded here.

More information about this CSRI and the resulting service use and cost data can be found in Sleed et al.

The summary and full report from the JRF-funded Homestart study can be found here.