The Basic Income for Care Leavers in Wales Pilot Evaluation: protocol of a quasi-experimental evaluation of a basic income for care leavers

David Westlake, Sally Holland, Michael Sanders, Elizabeth Schroeder, Kate E. Pickett, Matthew T Johnson, Stavros Petrou, Rod Hick, Louise Roberts, Guillermo Rodriguez-Guzman, Dimitris Vallis, Patrick Fahr, Zoe Bezeczky

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This study will evaluate the Basic Income for Care Leavers in Wales pilot (BIP), which is the most generous cash transfer scheme in the world. A cohort of care-experienced young people who become aged 18 during a 12-month enrolment period will receive £1,600 (before tax) per month for two years, and the Welsh Government intends this to have a range of benefits. This evaluation will examine the impact of BIP, the implementation of the pilot and how it is experienced, and its value for money. Methods: The study is a theory-based quasi-experimental evaluation, and the design and methods are informed by ongoing co-production with care-experienced young people. We will estimate the impact of BIP on participants using self-reported survey data and routinely collected administrative data. This will include outcomes across a range of domains, including psychological wellbeing, physical and mental health, financial impact, education, training and volunteering. Comparisons between temporal (Welsh) and geographical (English, using administrative data) controls will be done using coarsened exact matching and difference in differences analysis. The process evaluation will examine how BIP is implemented and experienced, primarily through monitoring data (quantitative) and interview, observational, and focus group data (qualitative). The economic evaluation will take a public sector and a societal perspective to identify, measure and value the costs and outcomes of BIP, and to synthesise the evidence to inform a social cost-benefit analysis at 24 months post-intervention. Discussion: BIP is unusual in that it targets a wide range of outcomes and is available to an entire national cohort of participants. The evaluation also has several practical constraints. Therefore, the study will use a range of methods and triangulate between different analyses to assess how successful it is. Findings will inform policy in relation to care leavers, social security and basic income studies worldwide.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPLoS One
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2 May 2024

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion keywords

  • Reduced Inequalities

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