Independent Social Work Assessment

Delivering high quality independent social work assessments to local authorities and the courts.

WillisPalmer is an independent social work provider that has been carrying out social work services for local authorities, the courts and independent organisations for 16 years and has therefore established itself as a reputable provider of independent social work services.

We have a range of expert social workers with a broad base of knowledge and skills, promising you delivery of high-quality assessments. Our national network of highly trained and experienced social workers means we can provide independent social work services swiftly in your area and quality is guaranteed.

All assessments include an expertly written report by our experienced and highly trained social work professionals. All reports are then scrutinised by our Consultant Social Workers through our robust quality assurance programme.

Our Social Work Assessments

  • Parenting Assessments/PAMs Parenting Assessments
  • Supported Parenting Assessments (completed with family support workers alongside the social worker, please call to discuss)
  • International Assessments
  • Sibling Assessments
  • Fostering Assessments
  • Adoption Assessments
  • Special Guardianship Order Assessments
  • Viability Assessments (also as part of an SGO)
  • Connected Persons Assessments
  • Video Interactive Guidance Work (video feedback in which a “guider” helps a client to enhance communication within relationships)
  • Service Improvement/Mentoring

Professional Reports

Following the assessment, WillisPalmer's experts provide a high quality in-depth report on the issues raised. We also provide a range of other expert reports and the type of reports we provide include:

  • Expert Parenting Capacity and Risk Assessments
  • Special Guardianship and Connected Person reports
  • Viability and Regulation 24 reports
  • PAMs assessments
  • Forensic Sexual Offender Risk Assessments
  • Domestic Violence Risk Assessments
  • Multi-disciplinary Assessments
  • Adoption Reports
  • Step-Parent Adoption Reports
  • Sibling Assessments
  • International Assessments

Quality Assurance

A key principle of WillisPalmer is to promote and protect the welfare of children. Therefore, we strongly believe that a rigorous quality assurance process is central to this aim. We invest heavily in a robust system to ensure reports are comprehensive, focused on the needs of the child and provide a detailed response to instructions. 

WillisPalmer has recruited a team of Consultant Social Workers (CSWs) to quality assure all reports before they are filed with the instructing party. The CSWs have been personally selected by the Chief Executive because of their significant experience in both undertaking specialist reports, and managing the quality of reports over many years.

Who are our services suitable for?

  • Local authorities
  • Solicitors
  • The courts
  • Independent organisations e.g. children’s residential homes
  • Schools

What people said about our services?

“The independent social worker was very professional and reliable throughout the whole process. It was evident the ISW was independent and was making their own professional judgement on what the issues and concerns were."

Solicitor, Local Authority, London Borough

“The report was of an excellent standard. It was thorough, factual and informative, closing many of the gaps in knowledge within the case. The Court and Judge commented on the standards of professionalism of the independent social worker, the integrity of his report and in his evidence during the final hearing”

Solicitor, London

“I have found working with Suzanne to be enormously beneficial, she is incredibly knowledgeable, efficient and professional. This has been a complex piece of work and she has turned this around in a timely manner and has remained focused and very fair to both parties despite the complexities. I am incredibly appreciative of her work and inspired by meeting her.”

Fostering Team Manager, South Essex Local Authority

Why instruct an Independent Social Worker?

Our Independent Social Workers are highly trained and experienced and, as a result, have a broad knowledge of social work practice. Expert social workers provide high quality assessment and other services for local authorities, family courts, solicitors, CAFCASS and clients in law proceedings.

Dr Julia Brophy at the University of Oxford carried out research into the quality of ISW reports, including those from WillisPalmer. 

The research said: "The independence of the ISW as an expert witness for the court is a key factor in the assessment. Reports reflect a dynamic approach to case work moving between the accounts of different parties (in statements/evidence) and events, and back to parents. Reports demonstrate assessments are robust and focused but fair."

"Findings also indicate that in certain circumstances courts may be severely hampered in the absence of access to the skills and expertise provided by ISWs - not least in case managing to meet the six month ‘standard’ for completion of care cases recommended by the FJR and accepted by government."

Contact Our Expert Team 
Send us a message or give us a call on 01206 878178

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Delivering a diverse, reliable range of services to children and their families across the UK
D1, Parkside, Knowledge Gateway, Nesfield Road, Colchester, Essex CO4 3ZL
Tel: 01206 878178Contact Us

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