Stepping Stones survey

The Stepping Stones survey is a longitudinal survey that tracks people’s opinions and experiences of employment services and income support over time. The survey aims to help the department to understand more about people’s experiences with government assistance. The survey will also be used to better understand the pathways that lead to paid work and the types of training and support people need when looking for work.

The survey findings will be used to improve employment and income support services available to people who are looking for work and/or receiving government assistance.

What is a longitudinal survey?

A longitudinal survey is a survey where the same group of people is followed over time. The Stepping Stones survey will provide information about the importance of government assistance, for example, the ways in which government assistance helps people to get and keep jobs and if undertaking study and training helps people to find work.

Who is participating in the survey?

The survey is being conducted from April 2009 to December 2014. There are four groups of people participating in the survey, with each group interviewed six times. One group remains in the survey and they will be interviewed for the second last time in early 2014.

Survey participants are contacted by phone and each interview is 20 minutes on average. While participation in the survey is voluntary, the survey offers all participants the opportunity to share their experiences of government assistance.

Who is conducting the survey?

The department has contracted the Social Research Centre to conduct the phone interviews.

Is the information participants provide confidential?

The information provided will be kept in the strictest confidence and only be used for research purposes. The department and the Social Research Centre are bound by social security legislation, the Commonwealth Privacy Act (1988), and strict confidentiality principles to ensure participant’s privacy is protected.

None of the information provided is placed on peoples records or affects any of their payments or the assistance that they receive. Individuals are not able to be identified because the department combines all respondent data when analysing the results.

Some findings from the survey

Group one, two and three have completed their final interviews and a snapshot of survey findings is available.

Updating details as a participant

If you are a participant in the Stepping Stones survey and have recently moved house or changed your phone number, please let us know so that we can contact you in the future.

To update your details:

This toll-free number is attended during business hours (AEST). If you are calling from a mobile phone, please let us know immediately and we will call you back so that any costs to you are kept to a minimum. You can also call this number if you would like further information about the survey. Your participation in this valuable research is greatly appreciated.