Welfare Call was established in 2002 to help Local Authorities, Education, Social Services and Children & Families Departments, collect and analyse the attendance of Looked After Children.
Outsourcing the process of collecting and analysing this data can free up the time consuming administrative responsibilities of key personnel within the authority.
From small beginnings – 250 children – Welfare Call currently monitor the attendance of approximately 28,000 Looked After Children for 100+ Local Authorities in England and Wales.
Based in Cudworth, Barnsley our workforce has grown from 2 to 80 and all our employees come from various local communities.
Welfare Call (LAC) Limited is registered under the Data Protection Act and all our staff are CRB/DBS checked to ensure the security of the data we handle on a daily basis.
Our client base ranges from authorities with very small cohorts (as small as 65 children) up to and exceeding 1100+ children in some of the larger county authorities. Within these cohort ranges Welfare Call monitor in borough, out of borough and both of these groups together as required by the individual local authority.
In addition to the cohorts of children mentioned above we are being increasingly asked to monitor other specific groups of children such as:
- SEN children (regardless of whether they are looked after or not)
- Youth Offenders
- Children Missing Education (CME)
- Gypsy/Roma/Traveller children
- Children who are deemed to be at risk of being sexually exploited
- Children who attend alternate provisions regardless of whether they are looked after
The data recorded by Welfare Call has developed over the years from being an up to date picture of attendance, which has been proven to assist in increasing the attendance of these vulnerable groups of children and thereby their ability to learn, but also to become part of the authorities strategy for the future of Looked After Children and other vulnerable groups.
At present, we’re working with a number of authorities to develop and implement an ePEP (electronic Personal Education Plan). This tool is proving to be an excellent addition to our range of services and helps improve the educational outcomes of the looked after children whilst also increasing the efficiency and quality of PEP’s .
Additionally, we are also in the early stages of developing another online tool in the same vein as the ePEP, this is the EHCP (Education, Health and Care Plan) which has been set up to replace statementing of children in the schools and colleges.
Welfare Call continues to grow and is looking to expand its range of services over the next 5-10 years, thus increasing its workforce, which in turn allows us to invest back in to the local community.
We have recently signed a partnership deal with Capita One which will allow us to integrate with more authorities and seamlessly import our attendance data into the Capita One system to give authorities a greater overview of their looked after children. We are also looking at other potential business areas that have a synergy between Capita One and Welfare Call, which will again expand the range of services we can provide.
Ivy Namala – Lambeth Virtual School
The ePEP is an excellent tool. It is as good as the information we give to Welfare Call. Once there I feel confident that the data is kept more accurate, than the one we have at our local authority. It is reassuring that Welfare Call does most of the work, especially the monitoring of attendance. Welfare Call sometimes know the whereabouts of a child school change, before the social worker or Virtual School. It is reassuring. Thank you!
Graeme Ferguson, Virtual School Head, Derby City Council
We have been using the Welfare Call ePEP now for over a year having had a paper based PEP previously.
Over this period we have seen:
- our timely completion rates for the ePEP improve from 85% to 95%
- an improved quality of what has been written within the ePEP
- greater consistency
- improved communication with DT’s and SW’s
- better accountability for responsibilities
Chris Hargreaves Virtual School Head for Doncaster
I have used Welfare Call for the last three years. The basic service enables me to track, closely, the attendance and exclusions of children in care. I appreciate the support received from the company – they listen to the customer and respond in a positive and effective way.
Jane Munroe Virtual School Head for Harrow Authority
The customer service we receive from Welfare Call is excellent. They always answer calls, return emails, solve problems and are very helpful when things do not go according to plan.
Lorraine Brown, HEART Administrator for Enfield Authority
During the last 5 years Welfare Call staff have been most helpful in providing any specific reports as required in a timely fashion. Telephone calls are met with a willingness to help. More than pleased with service and have recently signed a three year contract.
Erika Lutzke, Business Support Officer for London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham Authority
We have been employing the services of Welfare Call for a number of years now, and find them indispensable to the collection of looked after children’s attendance and exclusion data, and also their KS2/KS4 data. Welfare Call reports make it easy to compare and analyse data and take appropriate measures to improve our children’s attendance and attainment.
‘Care Matters’ Parliamentary Green Paper (page 60)
Tower Hamlets have contracted with a private company to monitor the school attendance of their children in care. The company call the school every day for those children most at risk of non- attendance and less frequently for those attending regularly. Where a child is not in school, Tower Hamlets will be alerted and can then investigate the reasons for non- attendance. As a result, the number of children in care absent for 25 days or more dropped by 22% in a year: the number of children with permanent exclusions dropped by 33%; and the number of fixed term exclusions dropped by more than 50%.
Wendy Holmes, Advisory Officer Alternate Provision Attendance for North Lincolnshire Authority
Welfare Call has given me a first class service and response at all times. No change is too much trouble for them. They are a very knowledgeable company, who know what they are talking about and are willing to go the extra mile.
Tony Clifford, Virtual Head for Stoke-on-Trent Authority
Working with Welfare Call over the six years that our Virtual School has been in place has been one of the key factors in enabling us to achieve a ‘good’ judgement for Enjoy and Achieve from Ofsted in our recent inspection of LAC services. Our performance teams have been able to work closely with Welfare Call to give us accurate and immediate information about all our out of city LAC and this in turn has improved the timeliness and effectiveness of our interventions. I am impressed by Welfare Call’s commitment to making a difference to young people in care
Steve Mather Virtual Head for Sheffield Authority
We have had an annual contract with Welfare Call for several years, and we have been so satisfied with their service that I have been able to persuade my director to allow me to arrange a longer term deal with them. As a result I am able to deploy my team of staff much more effectively on advocacy and challenge rather than administration and compliance. We are in contact with the company on an almost daily basis. They respond to our requests for support almost immediately, and in a most professional and positive manner. They monitor the attendance of each child wherever they are in the country by calling every school every day, and by alerting social workers and carers to any unexplained non-attendance the same day. Schools are used to working with them as part of their daily routine. They have been instrumental in supporting us to establish an ePEP solution for our children. As a result our PEP in-date completion figures have improved significantly, and the quality of the PEPs is improving rapidly. They continue to work with us on developing and improving our bespoke template. Clearly we are happy with the service they deliver, and would recommend you talk to them further to explore how they can build your capacity, and meet your needs.