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Welfare Secure Placement Unit

UPDATE: June 2023

The SWCU has undertaken a review of the secure welfare referral form, in conjunction with feedback from local authorities and the Secure Accommodation Network (SAN). An outcome of the review has resulted in a new referral form being created. To enable ease in the completion of the new form, a referral portal has been created and will be implemented from Monday 3 July 2023. The SWCU will be unable to accept referrals on the previous Microsoft referral form from 3 July onwards, as all referrals will be required to be completed via the portal.

A link to the portal, new referral form and guidance notes on how to create an account will be available on the SAN website from 3 July: About

What is the Welfare Secure Coordination Unit?

The Secure Welfare Coordination Unit (SWCU) is a small unit grant funded by the Department for Education (DfE) for the purposes of administering placements and collecting data on secure welfare. It is not a legal entity and therefore does not have a Director.

The SWCU provides a transparent, dedicated single point of contact for local authorities in England and Wales, to arrange secure welfare placements and aims to streamline the process of finding the most suitable placement to meet the individual needs of each child or young person needing secure care.

The SWCU is committed to ensuring the best outcomes for all children needing secure placements. Data from the Secure Children’s Homes is collected by the SWCU on a daily basis and open referral forms are then sent to homes with a bed available. The home will then indicate whether they can or cannot accept the placement request based on the child or young person’s needs.

Making a placement request for a secure welfare bed

  • Referral forms, guidance and other supportive information can be found on the SAN website.

The unit operates Monday to Friday from 08:30am to 17:00pm with a voicemail facility for out of hours providing updates on the daily bed availability.

Unit contact details

Tel: 01962 846432


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