Social Work England provides first-class support to our social workers

Social Work England is the new specialist professional regulator for social workers in England. They are a non-departmental public body, operating at arms-length from the Government. Initially established by the Children and Social Work Act 2017, their central focus is public protection. Since then the Social Workers Regulations 2018 drew on evidence and recommendations for effective professional support.

Taking a new approach to regulating social workers in their vital roles, Social Work England believes that the power of collaboration with everyone involved in the sector will protect the public, enable positive change and improve people’s lives.

Social Work England’s team of 180 people are predominantly on the north side of the River Don, right in the heart of Sheffield. Some of their responsibilities include setting and regulating the standards of practice and conduct within the sector, registering qualified social workers, ensuring social worker skills and knowledge are kept up-to-date and much more.

The benefits

  • Call Hunt Groups ensure all calls are routed to the right agent first time.
  • Call recording and storage capabilities to comply with legislation.
  • Enabling efficient working and forecasting with call reporting statistics.
  • Easy to access communication history for each caller with a web-based interface.
  • Easy to use soft client to manage calls and encourage straight-forward remote working.
  • Easily scale-up call capacity to cope with busy times.

The Challenge

The organisation is made up of six business units, but it was the registration team who were an early focus for Neil Carden, Social Work England’s Lead IT Support Technician. Consisting of 17 agents and three supervisors, the registration team needed the capabilities of a small contact centre, with the ability to handle incoming calls from almost 100,000 accredited and prospective social workers across the country.

As the organisation was in set up stage during the summer of 2019, it was difficult to forecast how many calls they could expect to receive following their launch in December. What Neil did make clear was the requirement for a telephony solution that included call recording and call storage that can be easily accessed by the supervisors to comply with regulations. Call reporting and call group functionalities were also a must to allow the team to efficiently manage incoming enquiries.

In addition, the new solution needed to be live and fully functional in three months, which also necessitated a staff training package to ensure the team could hit the ground running in December.

The roll out also required a further 150 telephony lines to provide the back office staff and receptionists with voice connectivity.

The Solution

Gamma’s Horizon hosted telephony platform combined with Cirrus Cloud Contact Centre proved to be the perfect solution to provide efficient collaboration between agents and social workers.

“The flexibility of the Horizon platform enables us to quickly re-route calls and easily scale-up capacity to seamlessly handle an influx of enquiries during our busiest times. The reporting and management capabilities from the Cloud Contact Centre solution means that we can now forecast for times like this, ensuring we have the right number of agents ready to answer every incoming call.” Neil Carden, Lead IT Support Technician

The Social Work England team highlighted how happy they were with the support received from Gamma and Cirrus during the project phase and following the deployment of the services. After sales support services were a key requirement for Neil, so having a dedicated Account Manager on hand at all times has enabled him to develop a trusted relationship with Gamma.

The Results

The registration team has been able to successfully manage, answer and record around 200 calls per day since December. The reporting functionalities have provided Social Work England with the ability to forecast for the months ahead, so when they know to expect a busy period they can both quickly and easily increase their call capacity, as well as ensure they’ve allocated the right number of agents to help during these times.

The combination of Horizon and Cirrus Contact Centre has given Neil and his team complete control over their communication system and, not only that, the staff havefull remote working capabilities at hand; all of which can be easily configured via the Horizon web-based portal. Access to the portal has given Social Work England the ability to enable efficient working across the organisation and the majority of enquiries are being resolved at the first point of contact.

So pleased were Social Work England with these early results that they’re looking to expand their communication channels in order to provide social workers with the option to get in contact by SMS and Web Chat in the near future.