Building an International Consensus in Social Work Supervision

 

Liz Beddoe

Inspiring practitioners filled with integrity, vision and passion, receiving excellent supervision and ongoing professional development and support and thus contributing to the continuous knowledge and experience bases that expand our understandings and approaches to the challenges we face as societies in a local, regional, national and global sense of the work!  (Survey participant)

Social workers  have a strong vision for the role of supervision as captured in the leading quote above, taken from the phase one Delphi study data. Liz Beddoe gave a seminar on the Delphi project at the Centre for Social Work Research at the University of East London on Tuesday 22 April. The seminar was very well attended, with a diverse audience made up of staff, practice educators, social workers and students. It was a great opportunity to present some preliminary findings of Phase one of the research.

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The most urgent issues for research: On the five topic areas most worthy of scholarly research these themes emerge

  • Supervision, the profession of social work and its future
  • NPM, accountabilities and outcomes
  • Retention and resilience of social workers
  • Interpersonal and dyadic supervisory relations
  • Processes and practices of supervision

Here are some of the topics survey respondents have mentioned as needing research under these five thematic headings:

The Profession and its Future

  • Addressing questions that refocus the practice and discipline value of supervision, understanding that balancing administrative needs will continue to be an ongoing challenge…
  • Evolving reflective practice.
  • Preventing professional dangerousness.

 New Public Management, Accountability and Outcome Cultures- Evidence for Supervision

  • Supervision is a costly exercise – able to demonstrate and measure effectiveness.
  • Impact on client outcomes and neo-liberalism

 Retention and Resilience of Social Workers

  • Evidence of improvements in wellbeing and development, to improve access and resourcing…..professional development and resilience

 Interpersonal and Supervisory Relations

  • Attachment processes (interpersonal factors) in supervisory relationship & clinical relationship, affecting transference
  •  Diversity & cross-cultural issues

 Processes and Practices of Supervision

  • Process of social work supervision: to learn more about what takes place in supervision sessions?
  • What kind of supervision is offered? Power and diversity in human relationships?
  • Models of management and supervision development
  • Comparative research across countries: Learning from each other
  • Exploring training for supervision
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