For over 15 years, Welfare Call has determined that monitoring vulnerable children on a daily basis, not only proves to be the most effective way to ensure that they are safeguarded, but that these children can receive the best education possible. Our extensive range of attendance reports and daily communication with education provisions enables the Virtual School to intervene promptly to individual cases, and develop strategic responses to trends when looked after children are absent from school.This ultimately helps the virtual school prevent breaks in learning and disengagement of young people.
Welfare Call has established a unique understanding in how to help and alert local authorities of potential problematic circumstances through our reporting procedures and trained staff members.
It is our continued mission to improve our service to both prospective and existing Local Authorities that we work with, so that we can extend our areas of expertise to other vulnerable groups.
We pride ourselves on providing a service which offers one to one communication to both authorities and schools which allows for:
- certain registration marks to be challenged (e.g. B – educated off site – where we contact the the actual alternate provision directly to ensure a child has attended and advise the on roll school accordingly)
- authorities to be advised of any changes of a child’s placement immediately
- follow up calls to carers and social workers to find specific reasons for absences
- ability to request backdated attendance and attainment
- adaptable reporting based on authorities requests
- the ability to build a secure, but familiar relationship between all parties involved
Welfare Call currently employees 80 members of staff from around our local community in South Yorkshire. All our staff are enhanced CRB/DBS checked to ensure that we meet current independent safeguarding regulations. They also go through a rigorous training programme to ensure that they are more than capable to collect the attendance data direct from the education provisions and record it in an accurate and reliable manner.
Furthermore, all our call operators have completed an online safeguarding course that was hosted by Southwark authority. The course gave detailed information relating specifically to the safeguarding of children and what to do in certain circumstances. The course required each member of our staff to complete an online test which required 80% or more of the questions to be answered correctly in order to pass the course. This course has ensured that all our staff adheres to certain safeguarding regulations and ultimately ensures the safeguarding of looked after children.
Welfare Call do not install any software or extract any information from a schools system, we only ever ask for the children’s information we are monitoring by name. Therefore there is never the risk of extraction of another child’s data which we should not have been given. This protects us as a company, the school and the authority from breaching any data protection protocol.
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.