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Supervision: Concept, Content and Context

“Social work supervision is considered as one of the most important factors in determining job satisfaction levels of social workers and the quality of service to clients” (Source SCIE)

Social Work Reform Board underlining the importance of regular and uninterrupted supervision state that supervision should:

  • Improve the quality of decision-making and interventions.
  • Enable effective line management and organisational accountability.
  • Identify and address issues related to caseloads and workload management.
  • Help to identify and achieve personal learning, career and development opportunities. (Source DfE)

However, in practice there seems to be considerable variation in approaches to and frequency of supervision as well as its content and context.

Therefore, in our next debate on 22 November at 20:00 GMT (from 20:00 to 21:00 GMT) we shall focus on the question of supervision and try to examine its concept, content and context.

In the meantime, as a matter of reference below is the supervision framework by Social Work Reform Board which sets the standards for employers in addition to several opinion piece authored by various academics, researchers, practitioners, and students.

We look forward to seeing you in our debate on  “Supervision”  next Tuesday (15 Nov.).

Social Work Reform Board

Standards for Employers and Supervision Framework

Th Social Work Task Force recommended national standards for the support social workers should expect form their employers and managers in order to do their jobs effectively (recommendation 6). t also recommended national requirements for the supervision of social workers (recommendation 7).

The standards for employers and the supervision framework are now ready for implementation. 

All employers of social workers should:

  • Have in place a social work accountability framework informed by knowledge of good social work practice and the experience and expertise of service users, carers and practitioners.
  • Use effective workforce planning systems to make sure the right number of social workers, with the right level of skills and experience, are available to meet current and future service demands.
  • Implement transparent systems to manage workload and case allocation to protect service users and practitioners.
  • Make sure social workers can do their jobs safely and have the practical tools and resources they need to practise effectively. Employers should assess risks and take action to minimise and prevent them.
  • Ensure social workers have regular and appropriate social work supervision.
  • Provide opportunities for continuing professional development, as well as access to research and practice guidance.
  • Ensure social workers can maintain their professional registration.
  • Establish effective partnerships with higher education institutions and other organisations to support the delivery of social work education and continuing professional development.


3 thoughts on “Supervision: Concept, Content and Context

  1. Look forward to the debate. I hope to write up some of my own thoughts on my blog before tomorrow because I think it’s useful to have a view of supervision from ‘the ground’ and I think! I’ll send the link when I’ve actually written it but thanks for sharing the background information.

    Posted by ermintrude2 | November 14, 2011, 7:47 am


  1. Pingback: Supervision and Social Work « The Not So Big Society - November 15, 2011

  2. Pingback: Supervision in Social Work « Social Work/Social Care & Media - November 15, 2011

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