GDPR : an update

Nearly there!

As part of our ongoing work the software behind Welfare Call’s main website has been updated with a privacy and maintenance release. This includes features that help bring the site in line with the requirements of the GDPR.

Remember the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) takes effect on May 25th. 

Just 3 more days of GDPR preparation before you should have all the measures in place!

We’ve prepared an overview of how the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) impacts processes at Welfare Call (LAC) Ltd in relation to the data it processes on behalf of its clients.

GDPR Policy Overview

Still not sure about GDPR?

The GDPR requires companies and site owners to be transparent about how they collect, use, and share personal data. You’ll be happy to know that the team at Welfare Call has been working on this for 12 months and everything is in place ready for Friday.  If you want to find out more then the ICO website is a great place to start and includes a very helpful Data protection self assessment

How is your preparation going?

Welfare Call main website back online

Earlier today a large number of UK companies including Virgin Trains and Parentpay were affected by a break in the fibre communication lines connecting data centres in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Manchester the Internet.

The Welfare Call technical team quickly switched settings to use the data centre in Reading to serve the web pages instead minimising any disruption to visitors to our website. The problem was fixed at around 4pm and changes have now been reverted.

Extranet and ePEP services were not affected by this outage.

You can read more here :
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/03/29/iomart_down/

Welfare Call continues to grow…

Welfare call are pleased to welcome the latest member of their team, Graham Kavanagh, who joins us in the role of CEO:

“I am extremely proud to have joined the Welfare Call family as Chief Executive Officer on the 1st March 2018. Prior to joining the business, I worked for Capita for 12 years holding a variety of Senior Management roles within their Children Services division across Professional Services, Product Management and Sales, before latterly taking on the role of Chief Product Officer for the newly formed Local Government and Social Housing software business.

During my time at Capita I have developed an extensive knowledge of the Local Government software market, particularly Education and Social Care. I have a deep understanding of the challenges that my Local Authority colleagues have faced over the last decade and the challenges ahead.  I am passionate about the sector and I am driven to provide solutions that provide real value.

Welfare Call is a truly unique business,  providing all of its clients with a personalised approach and outstanding levels of customer service.  My ambition for Welfare Call is for us to be recognised as a long-term partner that is committed to supplying cost effective managed service solutions that help in safeguarding the most vulnerable in society, both within the UK and internationally. There are exciting times ahead and I am really honoured that Stuart and Julie have asked me to lead the business on the journey.”

February 2018 – Welcome aboard Birmingham!

 

As you can probably tell, Welfare Call are over the moon to announce that Birmingham’s Virtual School have chosen Welfare Call to support them in the collection of school attendance for their looked after children. Birmingham have the biggest cohort of children in care in the UK, and after a formal tender process, Welfare Call have been commissioned to initially monitor their out of area children as well as those on an Alternative Provision for the next 3 years.

Following a number of other tender submissions, Welfare Call can also now declare that we’ve retained East Riding for attendance, Norfolk for both attendance and ePEP and we welcome another authority on board for our ePEP service – Doncaster. Our ePEP now stands at 37 authorities using the service!

Given the feedback we received from our Annual Forum back in November, Welfare Call are now offering training workshops up and down the country to showcase how to get the very best use out of our extranet and reports. A big thank you must also go to the first couple of authorities who have offered to host these workshops on Welfare Call’s behalf.

The first workshop is in Hertfordshire on 27th March. However this workshop is already full! The second workshop will be held in Sheffield on the 18th May and we still have a handful of spaces available, so you’ll need to be quick. Welfare Call’s workshops are free of charge, so if you’d like more information please contact Kay Reynolds on 01226 716333 / kreynolds@welfarecall.com

Once the two workshops have been held, we’ll look forward to arranging a couple more in different locations to suit authority demand.

Welfare Call are embarking on developing an electronic EHCP for a handful of authorities which we’re really excited about. We have the ability to bespoke the plan specifically to your authorities needs, so if this of interest, please feel free to get in touch.

January 2018 – Happy New Year!

Welcome back everyone! Welfare Call hopes you’ve all had a great break and a positive start to the New Year.

Over recent weeks you may have come across a lot of media coverage regarding potential security alerts with PC hardware – specifically Central Processing Units (CPU). Welfare Call would therefore like to cover this is more detail below so that you’re fully aware of the situation…

Security Alert

As part of our ongoing security assessments Welfare Call has received notification of two new vulnerabilities.  These are called Spectre and Meltdown.  Spectre is also known as CVE-2017-5753 and CVE-2017-5715 and Meltdown as CVE-2017-5754.

Summary

Welfare Call have carried out work to minimise the risk to clients’ data and will continue to monitor developments relating to these vulnerabilities.  Where a further update is required, the severity changes or we perceive the risk to increase we will notify you again.

If you want to know more or want to know if this will affect the IT services you have access to read the details below.

(more…)

November 2017

November has traditionally been one of the busiest months of the year for Welfare Call, so unsurprisingly this year is no different. Whilst we held yet another two very successful annual forums in London and Barnsley (more about the forums in our termly newsletter), we also attended our first ADES conference in Scotland which provided some great exposure for Welfare Call.

 

 

Just to top the fabulous month off, Welfare Call have now started working with Sunderland for both attendance and ePEP and whilst we unfortunately didn’t win at the CYP Awards in London, we’re extremely proud to have been a finalist in the Safeguarding category – fingers crossed for next year.

October 2017 – Welfare Call attending Scotland’s ADES Conference

Welfare Call are delighted to announce that for the first time we’ll be attending Scotland’s ADES Conference in November. This event is seen as the equivalent to England’s NAVSH conference, so it’s a huge opportunity for Welfare Call to showcase our services to the Scottish Authorities with the workshop we’ll be conducting.

Furthermore, we would like to welcome both Torbay and Swindon into the Welfare Call family, which now stands at 111 authorities. Torbay have taken on our attendance monitoring service, whilst Swindon have commissioned both the attendance monitoring and ePEP services.

           

There is still time to put your name down to attend Welfare Call’s highly regarded Annual Forums in November, featuring conversations around a number of important topics of the day, workshops and our plans for the future.

Our London event is being held on Friday 10th November, with our second forum being held at our Barnsley office (South Yorkshire) on Friday 17th November. The agenda / location details will be provided once interest is registered.

Both events are free of charge and lunch will be provided. Please contact Kay Reynolds on 01226 716333 or kreynolds@welfarecall.com for further details.

September 2017 – Welfare Call Annual Forum Dates

 

Welcome back one and all to the start of another school year. Whilst teachers, children and (some) Virtual Schools have enjoyed a well earned rest over the Summer, Welfare Call have been preparing ourselves to monitor the most children we’ve ever had on our system – a staggering 25,000+!

This is down to the fact that we still have new authorities commissioning our services every month, and September is no different. Therefore can we take this opportunity to give a very warm welcome to Cumbria, and a big welcome back to Middlesbrough who have both decided to use Welfare Call’s attendance monitoring service. We’re also just as thrilled to have learnt over the past few weeks that we’ve retained our relationships with Newham & Havering / Cheshire East / Knowsley having successfully gone through a tender process for attendance monitoring.

 

            

 

Welfare Call’s Annual Forums are also fast approaching once again. Our forums are always well attended and it’s a great chance to network with peers and understand the developments Welfare Call have in store over the course of this academic year. Our first forum is on the 10th November in London and the second is on 17th November at our office in Barnsley – South Yorkshire. There’s still chance to put your name on the list, so if you’re interested please contact Kay Reynolds on 01226 716333 or kreynolds@welfarecall.com

 

August 2017 – Welfare Call shortlisted for a CYP Now Award – Safeguarding Category

The Children & Young People Now Awards have become the gold standard for everyone working with children, young people and families. Now in their twelfth year, these awards provide a great source of pride and recognition for all those who strive day in, day out, to improve the lives of others. They offer an opportunity to raise the profile of projects and initiatives and Welfare Call are thrilled to have been nominated as one of the finalists in the ‘Safeguarding’ category.

Welfare Call can’t wait to hear the decision which is due to be announced on 22nd November. The winners will be revealed at a gala awards ceremony at the Lancaster London Hotel near Hyde Park.

There’s a 15-strong expert judging panel who have scrutinised all the entries to produce this year’s shortlist. A panel of young judges are examining the shortlisted entries and their marks will be added to those of the adult expert panel to help determine the winners in each category.

We’ll reveal the outcome after the ceremony in our Autumn Term newsletter!

July 2017 – Annual Shutdown / 103 Authorities and counting…

 

Please make note of our Annual Shutdown period for IT maintenance. This year sees the three days fall on the 2nd / 3rd / 4th August (Wednesday / Thursday / Friday) and there will be no one on site to offer admin or customer service support. You will, however, still have access to our Extranet service. We’ll return on Monday 7th August.

 

In terms of new business, we’re thrilled to welcome back Blackburn after several years, as well as brand new customers, Dudley, through an attendance monitoring quotation process, and Herefordshire through a tender for our ePEP service. This remarkable run of new authorities using Welfare Call now sees the company working with 103 local authorities!

 

     

Retaining our customers is just as important as winning new ones. This last 12 weeks has seen Welfare Call retain Sheffield for both Attendance Monitoring & ePEP services, Surrey and West Sussex for Attendance Monitoring through rigorous tender processes, and we still have some other authorities for which we are currently tendering.

Welfare Call have also touched upon in recent news our ability to monitor different cohorts for the local authorities. Welfare Call’s wider offering seems to be really taking off now as we’ve been asked to monitor Suffolk’s SEN as well as Tower Hamlet’s SEN.

Welfare Call would like to wish everyone a safe and enjoyable Summer, and we’ll look forward to contacting the schools again in the new academic year.

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  • Office workers

    Stuart and Julie Henderson have built up a team of dedicated, professional people, working within our Call Centre, I.T Department, and Customer Services Department to ensure we deliver the highest levels of service.

    Based in Cudworth, Barnsley, Welfare Call are the established market leaders for monitoring the attendance of looked after children since 2002. Welfare Call is registered under the Data Protection Act and all our staff are Enhanced CRB/DBS policed checked with no agency staff used.