Tink Palmer has been in social work practice since 1973 and gained her professional qualifications in 1975. Since that time she has participated in numerous post-graduate training courses – including counselling, family therapy and forensic investigation. Tink has worked with children and their families for the past forty years. In the past twenty-five years she has specialised in child sexual abuse and is an experienced clinical and forensic practitioner, manager, trainer, policy maker and strategist.
She is an experienced court witness both within the criminal justice and care systems in connection with both adults and young people who have contravened the relevant sexual offences acts and children and young people requiring legal interventions to ensure their safety and well-being.
Tink first began working with children abused via the new technology in 1999 and has since developed a professional interest and expertise in this area – particularly regarding the forensic and recovery needs of the children and young people. In 2004, she jointly authored a report entitled Just one click! which outlined the ways in which the new technology can act as a conduit for the abuse of children, the differential impacts on the young victims and new approaches to intervention programmes. In 2008, she co-authored the thematic report for the World Congress III against Sexual Exploitation of Children and Adolescents entitled “Child pornography and sexual exploitation of children online"
Between 2004 and 2008 Tink was the Director of Stop it Now! UK & Ireland which is an awareness raising campaign regarding child sexual abuse. In 2009 she set up the Marie Collins Foundation and in 2017 received an MBE in the New Year's Honours list in recognition of services to sexually abused children and founding the MCF.
Raising public awareness
Tink has an interest in all issues regarding the sexual abuse of children and, to this end, has written on numerous matters pertaining to child sexual abuse. She is experienced in working with the media and takes every opportunity to highlight the issues facing children abused via the internet and their families. Tink is a member of numerous government steering groups, committees and boards that aim to raise public awareness, to improve service provision and to ensure that best practice ensues on a national and international basis. Her current and recent membership is as follows:
- Chair of the Board of Trustees of ECPAT UK (2006-2013)
- Member of Her Majesty's Inspector of Constabulary (HMIC) Reference Group, which investigates how police forces manage internet cases
- Chair of the Board of Trustees of Childnet International
- Member of the Executive Board of the UKCCIS – the UK Council for Child Internet Safety and a member of UKCCIS Evidence Group
- Member of the Home Office Steering Group for Vulnerable and Intimidated Witnesses, including Children
- Board member of the NCMEC Director’s Prevention Policy Board
- Consultant to Stop it Now! USA
- Consultant to the Canadian Centre for Child Protection
- Advisor to the EU Chi@dvice project lead by Child Focus, Belgium
- Member of the Advisory Board for the UK Safer Internet Centre(SIC)
- Chair of the Board of Governors, Kell Bank CE Primary School, North Yorkshire
- Member of the Crown Prosecution Service Disability Hate Crime Scrutiny Panel (2009-2012)
- Member of the Government’s Sexual Violence and Abuse Stakeholder Advisory Group (2007-2010)
- Consultant to the Department of Health in connection with their strategy for sexual violence against women and children (August 2009-April 2010)
- Board member and trustee of the Internet Watch Foundation (Jan 2004 – Dec. 2009)