You can find out more about our Director and office team below; you might enjoy reading about our core values, backgrounds and, most importantly, putting a face to the voice you hear when calling 01206 878178. If you would like to know if we have any office vacancies please take a look at our careers page, or contact us using firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mark Willis has been in social work for over thirty years. He began work in 1984 as a residential and day care worker with people with learning disabilities. In 1987 he moved into child care work as an assistant social worker before qualifying with the Diploma in Social Work seven years later. Further to this he worked as a social worker, senior practitioner and team manager within local authority social services departments. He also spent a year co-ordinating child protection training for a large social care department, developing two academically-accredited training programmes on child protection risk assessment. In 2000 Mark became a self-employed Children’s Guardian representing children’s interests in over 100 cases in Kent and Essex.
Mark established WillisPalmer in 2004 with former business partner Andre Palmer. He has grown the company over that time whilst never losing sight of the core social work values which to this day are at the heart of the business. His commitment to these values means WillisPalmer retains its status as an ethical and responsible company.
Mark is also co-Director of Plexus Healthcare which provides occupational therapy rehab services to the insurance and legal markets and to charities and the public alike.
Sarah Stowe has a wealth of experience in management and administration. Before joining WP she worked as Personal Assistant to a Managing Director and also as a Development and Support Co-ordinator for a large corporate group. She has also worked in public relations and marketing.
Sarah is the Business Manager, supervising team members and managing the company on a day to day basis. As the original team member, Sarah has developed excellent relationships with customers and contractors alike since 2005 when she joined WP. Her commitment, enthusiasm and motivation ensure WP maintains its first-class reputation.
Head of Operations
Harriet joined us following a five-year term as Head of Service at London Borough of Redbridge. During her time there, Harriet lead the Safeguarding and Looked after Children Services to a ‘Good’ Ofsted rating and ensured it was maintained at the follow-up inspection. She has worked with many local authorities to improve their Ofsted ratings.
Harriet is responsible for all operational activity within WillisPalmer, ensuring high standards of service delivery are maintained and improved. Harriet leads the quality assurance team and is developing new and exciting projects as we continue to grow and expand our services.
Harriet has worked in Children’s Services for thirty years. Initially as a social work assistant, within a youth justice team and latterly as Head of Service for Looked after Children and Children Subject to a Child Protection Plan. Throughout her career, she has worked as Children’s Guardian within Essex CAFCASS and provided training for qualifying social workers. Harriet also developed the training for leaving care personal advisors which had been accredited by Anglia University. She has also completed the Diploma in Play Therapy. Harriet believes social work is all about empowerment and relationships, she feels that working alongside individuals is the most effective way to create change.
Phil has been in social work for nearly 40 years, focussing on working with children and families, although he has undertaken specialist training in mental health and learning disability. He began his social work career in residential work, qualified in 1980 and practised as a social worker, before then moving into various management roles.
Later, his career choice was to return to direct practice by working as an independent social worker, initially as a Children’s Guardian. Within this role, he acted in an advisory capacity to national committees and as a country-wide trainer. He was an adviser to the Law Society on the development of the Children Panel for solicitors and was joint-partner of an agency offering training to solicitors. In 1998, he co-founded independent social work agency, ISWA, which went on to grow into one of the largest and most successful agencies in the UK.
This agency offered specialised risk assessments, fostering assessments, family group conferences, training and consultancy. Alongside his role as Director of ISWA, Phil acted as an expert witness in care proceedings and subsequently utilised his skills to become one of very few experts in the UK to offer opinion in cases of possible negligence and failure of duty of care.
In 2017, ISWA merged with WillisPalmer and Phil has remained as an Executive Consultant, where he has led on developing and expanding the Child Abuse Litigation Service which now provides a team of experts to offer opinion in cases of potential failure of duty of care. Over the years, Phil has become respected in his field, he has been involved in various research projects, and has a number of publications to his name. He remains committed to ensuring the interests of children are at the core of everything he does.
Sarah has over 17 years’ experience in the children and families sector. She began her career as a frontline social worker, working her way up to senior manager in a local government setting.
Bearing years of best practice experience, Sarah moved into large-scale IT implementations within children’s social care for a period of time, with her main focus being that the child remains at the heart of any system implemented. In 2009, Sarah’s career saw her move into consultancy and change management, leading social work departments into successful new operating models and championing best practice through skill transfer and mentoring.
In 2018, Sarah joined WillisPalmer as an Executive Consultant. Her focus is to develop and expand the company by working in partnership with local authorities, discussing services and how they can influence practice improvement to achieve high-quality social work. By working with WP, Sarah continues to aim her social work career to driving innovation, creating exceptional quality standards in safeguarding children and promoting proven outcomes for positive change.
Senior Business Consultant
Steve Hoyle has previously worked for a large PLC managing large contracts and submitting tenders within the NHS.
Steve has been with WP for eight years and is extremely knowledgeable, he is the go-to person for our younger team members with his patient and calm manner. He has recently taken on the role of Senior Business Consultant, deputising for Sarah when she is not available. Steve also deals with contracts from local authorities which include adoption and fostering assessments, IRO work, parenting, kinship, SGO and connected person’s assessments. His keen attention to detail and focus on quality mean he is an invaluable member of the team.
Senior Social Worker
Emma has been working with WillisPalmer for almost ten years, initially as an independent social work contractor until more recently joining the WP team as a senior social worker. Emma now undertakes assessments and bespoke pieces of work on an employed basis.
Emma has been qualified for over thirteen years and has vast experience within a range of children and family teams. These include the Youth Offending Service, Children in Care, Court Teams, Referral and Assessment teams, Fostering and a Parenting Team. She has worked in a variety of settings including statutory and voluntary sectors within London, Hertfordshire and Manchester. A particular area of specialism and interest is working with young people with sexually harmful behaviours. Emma is also vice chair of a governing body and a trustee of a children’s charity.
Amanda De León Capdesuner
Senior Social Worker
Amanda joined WillisPalmer, initially as an independent social work contractor until more recently becoming a senior social worker. Amanda now undertakes assessments and bespoke pieces of work on an employed basis.
Amanda holds over 22 years post-qualification experience within social work. Amanda has worked within children’s services and adult social care in both statutory and voluntary sectors. Prior to joining WP, she was team manager in the NSPCC for almost five years, delivering bespoke services including therapeutic interventions for children and young people who have experienced trauma or who have been sexually abused. She also has extensive experience in working within the front line child and family teams and within the field of fostering and kinship care.
Chloe worked within the NHS before joining WP where she developed excellent administration skills. Before this, she worked for a firm of solicitors giving her vital experience of legal processes and working to tight deadlines.
Chloe provides administrative support and management information to the Director and Business Manager. Having been with WP since 2009 she knows the business inside and out and is a very important member of the team. Chloe is also responsible for the end to end recruitment process for all WP Contractors. Chloe’s highly organised, methodical approach and professionalism guarantee WP maintains it’s very high standards.
Before joining WP, Marney worked for a national social work recruitment agency where she gained her NVQ in Business Administration. During this role, Marney gained experience in compliance auditing, which required exceptional attention to detail, and strong communication skills. Her main focus was to ensure all contractors were compliant and met the requirements of the client before starting their new role. When Marney joined WP in 2016, she was responsible for the end-to-end recruitment process of all of our contractors, organising and attending recruitment events across the UK.
Having always been interested in marketing, Marney was the obvious choice to take on the new role of marketing co-ordinator when it became available. She is now responsible for all of the company’s digital marketing activity, the website and also organises WP’s training services. In addition, Marney works alongside journalist, Clare Jerrom to produce our monthly newsletter WP Children First which is an online resource for professionals working with children, plus she has developed and produced “WP News” which keeps our contractors up-to-date with all things WP! Being a naturally creative writer Marney has really found her niche in this position.
Thomas joins WillisPalmer with vast experience within many customer service based roles. Prior to working with WP, he worked at a largely respected multimedia company as a sales executive – where he gained invaluable customer service experience and understood the importance of handling requests in a timely manner. Thomas takes pride in his ability to build relationships and work well within a team.
Thomas is one of WP’s referrals managers. Thomas assists with referrals and enquiries from local authorities, solicitors and other organisations alike. He works closely with customers ensuring that the correct practitioners are provided for each case at hand.
Elle has worked within administration for five years, including roles in estate agency, the care sector and as a personal assistant. She learnt the importance of being efficient and organised, and thrived managing high workloads and continuously having to meet deadlines.
Elle is one of the Case Managers for WP, with responsibility for overseeing a piece of work from beginning to end, which typically results in the filing of a final report on a certain date. This is a pressurised role with constantly changing deadlines and requires regular liaison with our contractors to assist in prioritising their deadlines, and critically keeping our customers updated every step of the way. Elle’s calm and methodical approach is essential for this position. She is the person to call on in a crisis with her reliable, unshakeable character.
Tracy has worked previously for a large corporate banking operation, and in adult social care support services. Tracy has a wealth of skills and experience, with a strong background in Business Change Delivery and she is passionate about Customer Service and processes.
As one of the Case Managers for WillisPalmer, she takes responsibility for a caseload of assessments and discrete pieces of work being undertaken by our social work or psychology consultants. She assists with all administrative tasks and is the liaison between contractors and customers to ensure timely filing of reports. Tracy will be your first point of contact on open cases to help resolve queries and answer any questions.
Tracy strongly believes in the WillisPalmer values and makes sure they are embedded into everything she does. Her experience of working in the highly pressurised and stressful banking world has been crucial in this very demanding role. Tracy’s positive outlook on life enhances the WillisPalmer working environment.
Fay joins us with a strong background in administration, having worked for a broad range of companies, including a large corporate bank, a management consultancy and an estate agent. More recently Fay ran her own childminding business for six years which was rated ‘Good’ by Ofsted, and then she worked within health and social care looking after adults with autism and learning disabilities. Both of these roles convinced Fay that whatever career path she chose next it had to be something where she could help make a difference.
Fay is one of the case managers here at WP, taking responsibility for managing a case from beginning to end. This is a challenging administrative role which requires constant liaison with both customers and contractors, the ability to work to strict deadlines and ultimately results in the filing of high-quality reports. Fay understands the importance of providing an excellent service, being highly organised and is able to work well under pressure.