WillisPalmer launches Remote Assessment Service

WillisPalmer have launched a Remote Assessment Service to deliver social work assessments safely during COVID pandemic.

Read more
Make an Enquiry
Contact Us

ISW agencies merge

Two of the UK’s biggest social work agencies providing Independent Social Work services have merged. 

Merger Image

ISWA Ltd, located in the West Midlands, joined forces with Essex based WillisPalmer on 1st April.  The merger means that the new organisation is now the biggest provider of ISWs in the UK.  The company will trade under the banner of WillisPalmer.

Former ISWA Director, Phil King said: “The merger represents an exciting development whereby the great expertise and geographical spread of both agencies have been brought together proving beneficial to commissioners, our contractors and the children and families we serve”.

ISWA Ltd was one of the first independent social work agencies to emerge in the late 1990’s.  Over the past 20 years it established itself as a quality provider of expert social work services, specialising more recently in fostering as well as a provider of expert reports for lawyers working on child abuse litigation cases.

In addition, ISWA was a pioneer of so-called ‘End-to-End’ (E2E) fostering recruitment services for local authorities providing them with marketing, response handling, training and assessment of all prospective foster carers.

WillisPalmer Managing Director, Mark Willis said: “The merger is great news for our customers – especially local authorities and solicitors - as we now have significantly increased coverage of the UK having grown our ISW capacity by over 20% mainly in the Midlands, the North and also in Wales.  In addition, the expertise ISWA brings in terms of fostering and expert reports will add great value to the work we are already undertaking”.

Talks about a merger emerged following years of cooperation between the two companies. “WillisPalmer and ISWA already have a long history of tried and tested collaboration leading to many positive outcomes such as the Oxford University research about ISWs in care proceedings by Julia Brophy.



While previous collaboration has been with both agencies operating as ‘competitors,’ however now as one united force, the potential is immense,” added King.

The newly merged company will be based in Essex, the home of WillisPalmer for the past 12 years, but as Willis explains the company will have a truly UK-wide feel. “While WillisPalmer has a strong customer base in London and the South, ISWA has predominantly provided services in the Midlands and the North.  The unification of the two companies means we have almost 400 registered ISWs covering the whole of the country; meaning we can work with even more vulnerable children and their families across the UK in a variety of contexts”.

King believes the coming together of two like-minded companies will only be of benefit to the children and families sector. “When the foundations of the two agencies have been built with the same core values – with a child-centred focus in all the work we do - a merger not only makes sense, but is a natural fit”.

Make an enquiry

A multi-disciplinary organisation providing independent, high quality social work and psychological services. Contact us with your requirements and speak to a member of our team who will help you today.
Make an Enquiry

Knowledge & Resources

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

Referrals to children’s services rise following first lockdown


More than 600 vulnerable children a day were referred to local authorities’ children’s services in the months following the first lockdown, it has emerged.

The County Councils Network reported that 630 young people a day were referred to children’s services in the months after the first lockdown, which began in March 2020, as local authorities reported [...]

Read Full Story

More court days for family cases this year despite restrictions


There have been more court sitting days taking place on family cases this year than in any previous year, despite the lockdown, the president of the family courts division has said.

In his ‘View from the Chambers,’ Andrew McFarlane said this level of activity is necessary as it is not possible to conduct as many cases [...]

Read Full Story

Half of Youth Offending Services require improvement


Improvements are required in more than half of the Youth Offending Services inspected this year, according to the HM Inspectorate of Probation.

Of the 16 Youth Offending Services inspected, eight required improvement while one, Cardiff, was rated inadequate.

Chief Inspector Justin Russell said: “It is disappointing that the overall quality of the youth offending services we have [...]

Read Full Story
Children First is an online resource for professionals working with children presented by WillisPalmer, providing you with the latest news, features and interviews.
Subscribe Today
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
Contact Us
closechevron-downbars linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram