Welfare Call, based at The Business Village Cudworth site, assists local authorities, virtual schools, education services, social services and children’s and families’ departments to meet their statutory obligations by providing a collection and data analysis service for those working with vulnerable children. Examples of those supported include children in care, children at risk of sexual exploitation, children identified as being in need, those on child protection plans and those with special educational needs.
The company currently supports around 35,000 children across 100 local authorities. With 75% of the market share, it’s the largest provider in the market, and offers the following services:
Information and data which Local Authorities can obtain through Welfare Call’s services is used to support early interventions, strategic developments, and safeguarding initiatives. This helps to improve the educational outcomes for the vulnerable children being monitored and reduces the number of instances of them disengaging from education.
Employing 100 staff from the Barnsley and South Yorkshire area, Welfare Call communicates with education providers, teachers, social workers, carers, and local authorities on a daily basis to promote multi agency engagement and ensure that the safeguarding of these vulnerable groups remains of paramount importance
Managing Director, Andrew Henderson, says “by using our managed services alongside our in-built reporting and analysis tools, local authorities are able to monitor a child’s progression through education. We take away the administrative burden and costs associated with collecting data and allow authorities to track attendance, attainment, progress, and personal education plans in one central place and intervene where necessary.”
Welfare Call have several approaches for engaging and obtaining data from key stakeholders, including:
Although they have several collection models available, 95% of their customers opt for daily live calling to ensure that personal interaction is happening with the relevant stakeholders. In doing this, contextual information can be gathered and reported such as reasons for a child being excluded or absent, awareness of a child missing education for extended periods, or verification checks for schools when a child attends an alternative provision. This increases the efficiency and quality of the data they collect but also enhances the level of safeguarding they can provide.
Speaking to customers, the feedback has been loud and clear that safeguarding children is not just about gaining a mark, it’s about the narrative and context of what the mark means in relation to the children themselves.
Welfare Call’s above and beyond approach is proven to save local authorities money and hours of administrative time a week, whilst also reducing absenteeism and exclusion rates. This coupled with an outstanding customer service and support package has created a unique selling proposition for Welfare Call resulting in high levels of customer retention and them being identified as market leaders.
When Welfare Call expanded and rebranded in 2009, the existing offices in the centre of Barnsley became too small. Looking for new premises, The Business Village at Cudworth ticked the right boxes with space for expansion, good transport links and free parking facilities for staff.
“The management and reception service in the building is very supportive towards Welfare Call and in particular our HR Department. They have supported our growth over the last 13 years enabling us to expand and support a larger workforce. Additionally, it’s also been helpful to have use of the meeting / function room onsite for staff training sessions and customer visits.”
The Business Village team reach out to Andrew periodically with details of grants and incentives which may be applicable to the company and other information which may be of interest. In return, Andrew often offers Welfare Call’s IT Department to support other companies in the building who are new, in need of support, or are experiencing technical problems.
Solar panels were recently added to the roof at Cudworth, helping to deliver on The Business Village’s investment in green technologies and net zero priorities. Andrew says there are also proposals to install electric vehicle charging points which will mean he can replace the company’s existing fleet of cars with electric vehicles when contracts are due for renewal.
Looking towards the future, Andrew is currently working on growing the service offering to enable the company to monitor additional children under an expanded local authority remit.
“Workload increased dramatically during the Covid pandemic with monitoring still required for vulnerable children who were expected to continue attending school in-person. Local authorities are now being asked to support any child with a social worker attached to them, so we expect our workload to double or treble again in the next 12-24 months.”
Welfare Call is well-known in the education sector for providing a robust and reliable service, proactive customer support and thought leadership, so it’s no surprise to hear that the influx of additional children has already begun.
Phone: 01226 716333