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Our History

Multi-disciplinary organisation, WillisPalmer, established since 2004

WillisPalmer was established in 2004 by Mark Willis and Andre Palmer. They identified a need for a specialist service providing high quality independent social work services primarily to local authorities and the courts. Initially, Mark and Andre undertook most of the assessments themselves but gradually other ISWs came to join them. Launching from a small office in Colchester, Essex they first recruited Sarah Stowe, now the Managing Director in April 2005.

By the end of 2007, WillisPalmer had just short of 50 experts, all of whom were independent social workers. The company then started to provide training events and expert meetings with their associates and the numbers within the organisation began to grow.

As the work came in, further office based staff were recruited and more office space was required. At the end of 2008 WillisPalmer started to recruit psychologists to meet the growing demand for specialist psychological assessments.

By 2010, the company had grown to almost 200 ISWs and 20 psychologists. In early 2011 we moved to larger offices in Colchester, Essex.

By 2014 we had recruited over 250 contractors and 40 psychologists. Our staff team of referral and case managers support all the referrals and allocate cases through our bespoke CRM database. Our team of experienced consultant social workers quality assure the reports and support the WillisPalmer professionals.

We moved to our current offices at the University of Essex Campus, on Knowledge Gateway in 2016. The company now offers a wide range of multi-disciplinary services to local authorities across the UK. We are also the UK’s leading organisation providing child abuse litigation services to solicitors and insurers nationwide. In 2019 we were finalists in the ‘Best Service Based Company’ category at the Business Excellence Forum and Awards.

In 2020 we were selected as a Parliamentary Review Best Practice company and featured in the 2020 edition of this prestigious publication.

We are now celebrating our 17th anniversary – and we are looking forward to many more years…

Highlights 2004-2020

2004 – WillisPalmer launched

2005 – Sarah joins the team – our first employee – and is still with us!

2007 – Extended Community Assessment model launched – a thorough and innovative assessment of vulnerable parents, includes the use of PAMs assessment tool

2008 – WillisPalmer starts to recruit psychologists

2011 – We move to larger offices

2012 – WillisPalmer takes part in largest research of ISW reports ever undertaken and the University of Oxford praises quality of reports

2014 – Our 10th Birthday!

2016 – Moved to our new office at the University of Essex

2017 – Merged with ISWA Limited and began child abuse litigation service

2018 – Implemented our new case management system

2018 – Launched our multi-disciplinary family assessment service

2019 – Sarah Stowe (our first employee) appointed as Managing Director

2019 – Chloe Bach, Business Administrator celebrated her 10-year work-versary in April!

2019 – WillisPalmer listed as a Finalist in ‘Best Service Based Company’ at the 2019 Business Excellence Forum and Awards

2019 – Our 15th Birthday!

2020 – New branding and website launched

2020 – Selected as a Parliamentary Review Best Practice Representative

2021 - New innovative Systemic Family Assessment launched.

2022 - WillisPalmer School Social Work Service launched.

Working Together For Children

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A multi-disciplinary organisation providing independent, high quality social work, psychological, psychiatric, therapeutic and family support services. Contact us with your requirements and speak to a member of our team who will help you today.
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Knowledge & Resources

Keep abreast of the latest news in the children's services sector.

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