WillisPalmer has appointed a new Consultant Social Worker Lucy Hopkins whose main focus with us will be recruiting new professionals to add to our already skilled and expert network of 300 plus professionals.
Lucy has 11 years post-qualifying experience and worked in child protection and family support at Essex Council before becoming a family court adviser and children’s guardian – a role which she held for seven years and during which time she produced more than 350 court reports. She started with WillisPalmer in September after seeking a new professional challenge.
Having made the transition from the safety net of the local authority to working more independently for Cafcass, Lucy is all too aware that there are many skilled and experienced social workers who are keen to move into independent work but are wary of not having regular supervision, a line manager and colleagues with which they can discuss difficult cases or potential challenges.
“I moved from a local authority to working more independently and found it actually suited me better. As a result, I’ve worked with people making similar transitions in the past to try and make the process easier for them - whether that is discussing cases or helping them with time management,” said Lucy.
She hopes this skill is something she can bring to the new ISWs coming to work for WillisPalmer in a bid to make their transition smoother, knowing they have someone within the organisation who can act as a coach/mentor for them and discuss challenges and difficulties.
Firstly, Lucy has already started tackling the backlog of applicants who have contacted WillisPalmer during lockdown, enquiring about working for us as an independent social worker.
Lucy has introduced a new system whereby:
- Lucy reviews CVs sent into the organisation.
- Lucy carries out a telephone interview with potential professionals to ensure they have the skills and expertise required for our work.
- Due to the current restrictions in terms of gathering a group of people together, Lucy, Managing Director Sarah Stowe and Chief Executive Mark Willis will hold a Zoom Virtual Conference with a group of professionals. Mark will introduce WillisPalmer and explain about our history while Sarah and Lucy will then discuss the work that we carry out along with information about the quality assurance system. There is the facility for participants to ask questions at this point.
- Lucy will then follow up with attendees individually on a Zoom call following the event to see if they have any further questions about working for WillisPalmer and, if the candidate has successfully passed all the stages, they will be eligible to be offered independent social work through WillisPalmer.
Lucy hopes that we will have taken on new social workers by the end of the year and she will shortly introduce a similar system for psychologists who have enquired about working for WillisPalmer.
Lucy can be contact at firstname.lastname@example.org