CHILDREN 1ST wanted to lead on a Scotland–wide service to provide support and advice for separated or separating families.


Founded in 1884 as the RSSPCC, CHILDREN 1ST is Scotland’s children’s charity putting Scotland’s children first. It works to ensure every child and young person in Scotland has a happy, healthy, safe and secure childhood, and campaigns for every child in Scotland to enjoy the best possible start in life and for no child to grow up in fear of abuse or violence.


CHILDREN 1ST wanted to lead on a Scotland–wide service to provide support and advice for separated or separating families, to do so they needed to enhance their existing call centre and also make their service as accessible as possible. They therefore needed a solution that allowed people to contact them by:

  • Telephone
  • SMS (Text messages)
  • Web Chat
  • Social Media (Facebook/Twitter)


Although CHILDREN 1ST were originally looking for an on premise system, after a thorough tender exercise and demonstrations of Call Handling’s cloud based Virtual Call Centre, it was chosen as the preferred contact centre solution. Not only could Call Handling’s VCC offer future multi-site possibilities, but the absence of license fees meant it was a far more economical and scalable option – particularly suiting the volunteer staff base of the helpline. It also meant that using one simple web interface, a CHILDREN 1ST advisor could answer enquiries from a client in any of the above methods of communication and also have the flexibility to work from any location.

Working with Call Handling

Ade Worley, CHILDREN 1ST ICT Manager, commented that ‘Call Handling offer a very unique cloud based solution and it wasn’t until we had the system demonstrated to us that we realised the capability’. He went on to say that it was ‘obvious that Call Handling had worked with helplines, evidenced from the level of detail within their solution’. Call Handling’s VCC is able to offer CHILDREN 1ST a privilege based log in set up, with completely different set ups for managers and agents, allowing users to only see what’s relevant to them. Call Handling have also developed a wealth of helpline orientated statistics meaning that CHILDREN 1ST can get the exact data they need, to not only monitor the performance of the helpline day to day, but also to inform their funders.

System Set Up

Ade went on to say, ‘One of the unique benefits of the Call Handling solution is that they were able to set up the entire solution remotely, with no effect on the systems that were operating at the time. With just a few days training, our managers and volunteers were confident in using the system and we were able to go live with the new solution. Like any new system, there was a settling in period but because we had been able to use the cloud based system prior to go-live, and have full testing, there were very few surprises’.

Exciting Projects

The Call Handling VCC has now been integrated within the CHILDREN 1ST Facebook page, so now anyone can initiate a chat with an adviser directly from Facebook

Excellent Support

Ade concluded by saying,

‘The training and support we receive from Call Handling is excellent. The system is also very easy to use and Call Handling are always looking for opportunities to grow their solution with us.’