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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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!
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.
For a long time now, Welfare Call have had the ability to provide authorities reports in XML format, which can then be imported manually by our customers into their Capita One systems. Historically, this saved you manually inputting the attendance from daily reports yourselves.
Welfare Call are delighted to announce a new partnership with Capita which will improve this process even further…With the new Capita One B2B Open system, we can seamlessly provide the XML files (like before), but these can now be transmitted securely from our server to the customer’s server, and automatically import into your database, without the need for any user-interaction by the authority!
The process is all handled automatically by the B2B Open front end. Our version of B2B Open is configured with the authority’s user-name, password and secure URL where we deposit the files, your version of B2B Open picks up the files that we auto-deposit and these import into your internal database.
Welfare Call would like to stress that whilst we are not charging for this option, Capita will be charging as they will treat this as an ‘additional add on’ to your existing Capita One system, which will require a purchase. At this moment in time, Welfare Call do not know the actual price Capita will charge, so please contact your Capita representative for further details.
Welfare Call Ltd is Cyber Essentials accredited
“We’re happy to say that our efforts to become Cyber Essentials accredited have been successful showing that the design and implementation of our service to date and the procedures and processes we operate meet the security standards required.” Chris Johnson, IT Development Manager, May 2017
Today (May 17th 2017) Welfare Call has received the results of the security assessment carried out by CREST Accredited IT security company NCC Group. The tests were carried out last week along with an assessment of our working practices and procedures. As a result Welfare Call Ltd has been awarded Cyber Essentials accreditation.
This means that we meet (or exceed) the security measures that are required for suppliers of Government contracts that involve handling personal information.
What has been really pleasing for our Internal IT teams and reassuring for clients and the company as a whole is that the security practices Welfare Call was already using and the security processes we had in place already met these guidelines. (more…)
Welcome back to the start of the Summer Term everyone! Welfare Call hopes you have all had a great time over the Easter period.
The 2016 academic year proved to be one of our most successful years to date in gaining new business both in attendance monitoring and our ePEP services, but 2017 is likely to top even last year’s success!!
Throughout the 2017 academic year we have been able to announce new authorities joining us and this month is no exception with Wolverhampton, North Yorkshire and our home council of Barnsley taking up our services.
We also welcome back Redbridge after a two year absence.
This flurry of new business has led to Welfare Call almost reaching 100 Authorities that are now working with us – so look out for our special announcement in the coming weeks!
March is one of our favourite months of the year, as we gear up to attend the National Virtual Heads conference. It gives Welfare Call the chance to catch up with friends and familiar faces, but it’s also an opportunity for you to speak to us about any queries you may have; be it a new authority that’s interested in our services, or an existing authority that wants to know of the developments we have in store, with the lead up to the new academic year – so feel free to pop over and say “Hi”!
It wouldn’t be a monthly Welfare Call update if we didn’t announce further new business…
We welcome aboard Worcestershire (who already use our ePEP service) and Solihull who will be using our attendance monitoring service. We’re absolutely delighted that Welfare Call is increasing its presence in the Midlands, with a number of other authorities in the region speaking to us as well.
We’d also like to announce that Welfare Call have very recently been awarded the ePEP contract for Cornwall. Having gone through a tender process to win the contract, Cornwall is undoubtedly a big geographical area to cover, but they join a host of their neighbouring authorities who are already using Welfare Call.
After a great start to the New Year, we are now well underway and it is business as usual with a host of new authorities coming on board with Welfare Call…
We would therefore like to take the opportunity to welcome both the City of London and Portsmouth into our attendance monitoring service, which edges us closer to 100 authorities using Welfare Call – we now currently work with 97!
Not forgetting our ever-expanding ePEP service; this month we’re working with Stockton On Tees to secure our ePEP service in the area. As it stands we now have 29 authorities using the platform to quality assure and sign off PEP’s – pretty impressive to say the service has only been live just over 3 years.
In previous news posts, we’ve mentioned Welfare Calls ability to now monitor various cohorts for authorities and not just looked after children. A number of authorities have recently taken the opportunity to extend their cohorts with Welfare Call, which now allows us to monitor their early years and Post 16 groups. If this is something that your authority may be interested in, then feel free to give us a call on 01226 716333 and we’ll happily provide more information. Other cohorts also range from Children in Need / Troubled Families / Gypsy Roma Travellers / Youth Offenders / Children Missing Education / SEN / Children at Risk of Sexual Exploitation.
Welcome back one and all after the festive break. Welfare Call hope the New Year has started as well for you as it has for us.
Another month brings more good news for us, and we can announce that Somerset Council have just taken on our attendance monitoring service. Somerset were the final piece in our ‘jigsaw’ as we now monitor for North Somerset, Somerset and Bath & North East Somerset, as well as some of their neighbouring authorities, so suffice to say we are thrilled.
Furthermore, our ePEP service continues to match our attendance monitoring service in terms of authorities coming on board at a rapid pace…
Welfare Call would like to take the opportunity to welcome on board Waltham Forest and Tower Hamlets. Both of these authorities have used our services over a number of years and now they have decided to adopt our ePEP platform. This will allow their attendance to synchronise into the child’s PEP document.
We are extremely confident that these announcements will be the first of many this year, so please keep a look out for next month’s update!
Merry Christmas from all of us at Welfare Call, and we hope you have a safe and enjoyable start to 2017!
For those of you that will be in and out of the office over Christmas, Welfare Call will be operational for the majority of the holidays. We’ll be working right up to Friday 23rd, returning for 28th, 29th and 30th December and then after the weekend we’re back into full swing on Tuesday 3rd January.
Welfare Call have had an amazing year with a stream of new business wins, but we’ve also implemented additional improvements to the service which allows for even further customisation (with more on the way). New reports to the service have also been created and we’ve refreshed our extranet to give it a new, more modern design.
‘Tis also the season where our client follow up service starts to get busier with authorities wanting to track their NEET’s / EET’s now that some students left school at the end of the last academic year. Welfare Call have a number of new clients lining up to use the service, which we’ll announce throughout next year.