Article

Australian Social Work Supervision Practice in 2007

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Abstract

In 2007, a national online survey was conducted to investigate the practice of social work supervision in Australia. Six hundred and seventy-five social workers across Australia completed an online survey to produce the quantitative results reported in this article. The majority of respondents were female and were employed full time across a range of fields of practice, including statutory, non-statutory, and health and counselling settings. Nearly 84% reported having supervision. The largest number of respondents had received individual supervision in their place of work but some had also received more than one type of supervision. For more than two-thirds of the respondents, their principal supervisor was also their line manager, and most had had no choice in their supervisor. Despite the volume of supervision literature, there are limited empirical data about current supervision work practice in Australia. Findings from this study will lay a foundation for future research on social work supervision, a topic of significant importance to the social work profession.

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... The significance of supervision within our profession has been highlighted by findings from two major national studies, one from either side of the Tasman Sea (Egan, 2012;O'Donoghue, 2012). Egan's (2012) exploration of the structure and functions of supervision offers significant challenges to traditional discourses. ...
... The significance of supervision within our profession has been highlighted by findings from two major national studies, one from either side of the Tasman Sea (Egan, 2012;O'Donoghue, 2012). Egan's (2012) exploration of the structure and functions of supervision offers significant challenges to traditional discourses. This analysis forms the basis for substantive critique on current supervision practice. ...
... This analysis forms the basis for substantive critique on current supervision practice. Egan (2012) has drawn our attention to the need to not only focus on the presence of supervision, but to also examine the quality of its delivery. This focus on quality denotes a shift away from consideration of prescriptive models in supervision, to examine notions of value and efficacy in the current political context. ...
Article
Guest commentary as editorial for a 'Special Section on Supervision in Social Work". Australian Social Work - co-edited with Jane Maidment and Christine Bigby. 2012
... The research in these articles included participants from Europe (Finland, Germany, Malta, Portugal, Norway, Romania, Sweden, United Kingdom) North America (United States and Canada), Asia (Hong Kong, China, Singapore, South Korea), Australasia (Australia and New Zealand) and South Africa. A synthesis of the results showed that social work supervision consists of administrative, educative and support functions (Bradley & Hojer, 2009;Egan, 2012;Engelbrecht, 2013;Hair, 2013;Hung, Ng, & Fung, 2010;Kadushin, 1974Kadushin, , 1993O'Donoghue, Munford, & Trlin, 2005;Poertner & Rapp, 1983;Sandu & Unguru, 2013;Tsui, 2005;Wong & Lee, 2015). However, how these functions were enacted was influenced by the context within which supervision was practised. ...
... For example, there were clear differences in how supervision was arranged in different countries, organisational settings, fields of practice, rural settings and in relation to different supervisee populations (e.g. differences in cultural background, profession or discipline) (Bailey, Bell, Kalle, & Pawar, 2014;Berger & Mizrahi, 2001;Bogo, Paterson, Tufford, & King, 2011;Bourn & Hafford-Letchfield, 2011;Bradley & Hojer, 2009;Egan, 2012;Eketone, 2012;Hung et al., 2010;Itzhaky, 2001;Kadushin, Berger, Gilbert, & St Aubin, 2009;O'Donoghue et al., 2005;Wong & Lee, 2015). These differences contributed to a plurality of supervision arrangements internationally, wherein supervision is being provided in a range of differing ways that include: internally (within an organisation by an employee), externally (by a contracted professional consultant who is independent from the organisation), peer (by a professional colleague within the organisation), culturally (by a personal with cultural expertise focused on cultural development and cultural competence), inter-professionally or cross-disciplinarily (by a specialist from another profession or discipline) and through line-management (by a supervisor with team leadership or managerial responsibility within the organisation), or a portfolio or network consisting of a combination or mix of various supervision arrangements (Beddoe, 2012;Beddoe & Howard, 2012;Bradley & Hojer, 2009;Cooper, 2006;Egan, 2012;Eketone, 2012;Kadushin et al., 2009;O'Donoghue et al., 2005;Wong & Lee, 2015). ...
... differences in cultural background, profession or discipline) (Bailey, Bell, Kalle, & Pawar, 2014;Berger & Mizrahi, 2001;Bogo, Paterson, Tufford, & King, 2011;Bourn & Hafford-Letchfield, 2011;Bradley & Hojer, 2009;Egan, 2012;Eketone, 2012;Hung et al., 2010;Itzhaky, 2001;Kadushin, Berger, Gilbert, & St Aubin, 2009;O'Donoghue et al., 2005;Wong & Lee, 2015). These differences contributed to a plurality of supervision arrangements internationally, wherein supervision is being provided in a range of differing ways that include: internally (within an organisation by an employee), externally (by a contracted professional consultant who is independent from the organisation), peer (by a professional colleague within the organisation), culturally (by a personal with cultural expertise focused on cultural development and cultural competence), inter-professionally or cross-disciplinarily (by a specialist from another profession or discipline) and through line-management (by a supervisor with team leadership or managerial responsibility within the organisation), or a portfolio or network consisting of a combination or mix of various supervision arrangements (Beddoe, 2012;Beddoe & Howard, 2012;Bradley & Hojer, 2009;Cooper, 2006;Egan, 2012;Eketone, 2012;Kadushin et al., 2009;O'Donoghue et al., 2005;Wong & Lee, 2015). This plurality of arrangements has resulted in the situation wherein some supervisees have more than one supervisor with particular functions of supervision being located with a particular supervisor. ...
... Internal and external supervision provide opportunities to reflect on different aspects of practice. Characteristically, internal supervision has a focus on administrative and organisational matters while external concentrates on professional practice issues (Beddoe, 2012;Egan, 2012). ...
... Historically, supervision has been provided internally, only in the social worker's workplace (Egan, 2012). Many social service organisations continue to have policies related to social workers receiving traditional forms of supervision from their line managers. ...
... Many social service organisations continue to have policies related to social workers receiving traditional forms of supervision from their line managers. For example, Egan (2012) reported from her online study that twothirds of social workers in Australia had supervision only from their line manager. The fusing of supervision with line management is indicative of managerial culture in organisations and can become the accepted norm in supervision processes. ...
Article
Full-text available
INTRODUCTION: Supervision is crucial to social workers’ practice. Within the current managerial social services environment, the supervisor juggles organisational and professional accountabilities—organisational agendas often dominate practitioners’ reflection. In response, alternative types of supervision have emerged, one of which is external supervision.METHODS: This paper analyses qualitative discussions with key informants and supervisory dyads in community-based child welfare services regarding reflective practices in supervision. Internal and external supervision arrangements were discussed in depth relative to their impact on social work practice.FINDINGS: Analysis of discussions identified four themes: the significance of external supervision for building capacity, resilience and confidential reflective space; the role of internal supervision for managerial and organisational agendas; tensions associated with external supervision regarding funding and accountability; and important attributes of the supervisor in successful working relationships.CONCLUSIONS: External supervision is essential for professional competence but considerable inter-organisational variation exists in how this is utilised. Three key considerations emerged: accountabilities of external supervisor, supervisee and internal supervisor towards collaborative practice, evaluation and feedback; purchasing of external supervision; and the professional development of external supervisors. Further education connecting the importance of the supervisory relationship to realise critical thinking and practice development is essential for the future of social work.
... The research in these articles included participants from Europe (Finland, Germany, Malta, Portugal, Norway, Romania, Sweden, United Kingdom) North America (United States and Canada), Asia (Hong Kong, China, Singapore, South Korea), Australasia (Australia and New Zealand) and South Africa. A synthesis of the results showed that social work supervision consists of administrative, educative and support functions (Bradley & Hojer, 2009;Egan, 2012;Engelbrecht, 2013;Hair, 2013;Hung, Ng, & Fung, 2010;Kadushin, 1974Kadushin, , 1993O'Donoghue, Munford, & Trlin, 2005;Poertner & Rapp, 1983;Sandu & Unguru, 2013;Tsui, 2005;Wong & Lee, 2015). However, how these functions were enacted was influenced by the context within which supervision was practised. ...
... For example, there were clear differences in how supervision was arranged in different countries, organisational settings, fields of practice, rural settings and in relation to different supervisee populations (e.g. differences in cultural background, profession or discipline) (Bailey, Bell, Kalle, & Pawar, 2014;Berger & Mizrahi, 2001;Bogo, Paterson, Tufford, & King, 2011;Bourn & Hafford-Letchfield, 2011;Bradley & Hojer, 2009;Egan, 2012;Eketone, 2012;Hung et al., 2010;Itzhaky, 2001;Kadushin, Berger, Gilbert, & St Aubin, 2009;O'Donoghue et al., 2005;Wong & Lee, 2015). These differences contributed to a plurality of supervision arrangements internationally, wherein supervision is being provided in a range of differing ways that include: internally (within an organisation by an employee), externally (by a contracted professional consultant who is independent from the organisation), peer (by a professional colleague within the organisation), culturally (by a personal with cultural expertise focused on cultural development and cultural competence), inter-professionally or cross-disciplinarily (by a specialist from another profession or discipline) and through line-management (by a supervisor with team leadership or managerial responsibility within the organisation), or a portfolio or network consisting of a combination or mix of various supervision arrangements (Beddoe, 2012;Beddoe & Howard, 2012;Bradley & Hojer, 2009;Cooper, 2006;Egan, 2012;Eketone, 2012;Kadushin et al., 2009;O'Donoghue et al., 2005;Wong & Lee, 2015). ...
... differences in cultural background, profession or discipline) (Bailey, Bell, Kalle, & Pawar, 2014;Berger & Mizrahi, 2001;Bogo, Paterson, Tufford, & King, 2011;Bourn & Hafford-Letchfield, 2011;Bradley & Hojer, 2009;Egan, 2012;Eketone, 2012;Hung et al., 2010;Itzhaky, 2001;Kadushin, Berger, Gilbert, & St Aubin, 2009;O'Donoghue et al., 2005;Wong & Lee, 2015). These differences contributed to a plurality of supervision arrangements internationally, wherein supervision is being provided in a range of differing ways that include: internally (within an organisation by an employee), externally (by a contracted professional consultant who is independent from the organisation), peer (by a professional colleague within the organisation), culturally (by a personal with cultural expertise focused on cultural development and cultural competence), inter-professionally or cross-disciplinarily (by a specialist from another profession or discipline) and through line-management (by a supervisor with team leadership or managerial responsibility within the organisation), or a portfolio or network consisting of a combination or mix of various supervision arrangements (Beddoe, 2012;Beddoe & Howard, 2012;Bradley & Hojer, 2009;Cooper, 2006;Egan, 2012;Eketone, 2012;Kadushin et al., 2009;O'Donoghue et al., 2005;Wong & Lee, 2015). This plurality of arrangements has resulted in the situation wherein some supervisees have more than one supervisor with particular functions of supervision being located with a particular supervisor. ...
Article
This article aims to pragmatically construct an evidence-informed model of social work supervision from the research findings from social work supervision research. The proposed evidence-informed model consists of five key areas, namely, the construction of social work supervision, supervision of the practitioner, the supervision alliance, the interactional process and the supervision of direct practice. The implications of the proposed evidence-informed social work supervision model for supervisory practice and the international development of social work supervision are also discussed.
... The research in these articles included participants from Europe (Finland, Germany, Malta, Portugal, Norway, Romania, Sweden, United Kingdom) North America (United States and Canada), Asia (Hong Kong, China, Singapore, South Korea), Australasia (Australia and New Zealand) and South Africa. A synthesis of the results showed that social work supervision consists of administrative, educative and support functions (Bradley & Hojer, 2009;Egan, 2012;Engelbrecht, 2013;Hair, 2013;Hung, Ng, & Fung, 2010;Kadushin, 1974Kadushin, , 1993O'Donoghue, Munford, & Trlin, 2005;Poertner & Rapp, 1983;Sandu & Unguru, 2013;Tsui, 2005;Wong & Lee, 2015). However, how these functions were enacted was influenced by the context within which supervision was practised. ...
... For example, there were clear differences in how supervision was arranged in different countries, organisational settings, fields of practice, rural settings and in relation to different supervisee populations (e.g. differences in cultural background, profession or discipline) (Bailey, Bell, Kalle, & Pawar, 2014;Berger & Mizrahi, 2001;Bogo, Paterson, Tufford, & King, 2011;Bourn & Hafford-Letchfield, 2011;Bradley & Hojer, 2009;Egan, 2012;Eketone, 2012;Hung et al., 2010;Itzhaky, 2001;Kadushin, Berger, Gilbert, & St Aubin, 2009;O'Donoghue et al., 2005;Wong & Lee, 2015). These differences contributed to a plurality of supervision arrangements internationally, wherein supervision is being provided in a range of differing ways that include: internally (within an organisation by an employee), externally (by a contracted professional consultant who is independent from the organisation), peer (by a professional colleague within the organisation), culturally (by a personal with cultural expertise focused on cultural development and cultural competence), inter-professionally or cross-disciplinarily (by a specialist from another profession or discipline) and through line-management (by a supervisor with team leadership or managerial responsibility within the organisation), or a portfolio or network consisting of a combination or mix of various supervision arrangements (Beddoe, 2012;Beddoe & Howard, 2012;Bradley & Hojer, 2009;Cooper, 2006;Egan, 2012;Eketone, 2012;Kadushin et al., 2009;O'Donoghue et al., 2005;Wong & Lee, 2015). ...
... differences in cultural background, profession or discipline) (Bailey, Bell, Kalle, & Pawar, 2014;Berger & Mizrahi, 2001;Bogo, Paterson, Tufford, & King, 2011;Bourn & Hafford-Letchfield, 2011;Bradley & Hojer, 2009;Egan, 2012;Eketone, 2012;Hung et al., 2010;Itzhaky, 2001;Kadushin, Berger, Gilbert, & St Aubin, 2009;O'Donoghue et al., 2005;Wong & Lee, 2015). These differences contributed to a plurality of supervision arrangements internationally, wherein supervision is being provided in a range of differing ways that include: internally (within an organisation by an employee), externally (by a contracted professional consultant who is independent from the organisation), peer (by a professional colleague within the organisation), culturally (by a personal with cultural expertise focused on cultural development and cultural competence), inter-professionally or cross-disciplinarily (by a specialist from another profession or discipline) and through line-management (by a supervisor with team leadership or managerial responsibility within the organisation), or a portfolio or network consisting of a combination or mix of various supervision arrangements (Beddoe, 2012;Beddoe & Howard, 2012;Bradley & Hojer, 2009;Cooper, 2006;Egan, 2012;Eketone, 2012;Kadushin et al., 2009;O'Donoghue et al., 2005;Wong & Lee, 2015). This plurality of arrangements has resulted in the situation wherein some supervisees have more than one supervisor with particular functions of supervision being located with a particular supervisor. ...
... The literature reports the prominence of supervision operating within organisational cultures, symptomatic of the "over-vigilant and bureaucratic" culture with a high focus on tasks, policies and rules, and a low focus on personal relatedness (Hawkins & Shohet, 2012, p. 230). In this type of culture, resourcing can become dependent on efficiencies and performance measures (Egan, 2012) and the complex qualitative processes inherent to supervision can appear time-consuming and unproductive. ...
... As well as challenges, some studies do suggest benefits of internally provided supervision. Egan (2012), in a study of 675 social workers in managerial settings in Australia found that of the 66% workers who had supervision by their line manager, almost half said that internally provided supervision was the most useful; despite the fact that 50% of workers had had feedback linked to their performance appraisals. This suggests that the potential conflicts inherent in dual role relationships within internal supervision of staff by line managers need not be detrimental to supervision and can have their own strengths. ...
Article
Full-text available
INTRODUCTION: Many human service organisations aim to improve the delivery of supervision to their professional staff. In the Aotearoa New Zealand Department of Corrections, changes led to a project which involved the implementation of in-house supervision and supervision training for programme facilitators. This article describes the project and reports on a subsequent review against a retrospective literature review. The content, methods and evaluations of seven deliveries of the week-long supervision training are then critically reflected on through the lens of the literature, with concluding recommendations.SEARCH STRATEGY AND DATA: The literature review was defined by the use of key terms to search four databases and a library catalogue, resulting in use of 25 articles. While not set up as a formal research project, data from participant evaluations of eight, week-long supervision training courses were analysed, as were results of a national supervision survey.FINDINGS: Training content, methods and principles were generally well aligned with what is identified as important in the literature, with a few omissions such as assessment processes of supervisors when in the field. Data from participant evaluations showed strong areas of the training (such as skill development through practices) using the model prescribed. A relatively high level of participant satisfaction was demonstrated in the evaluation material. Specific challenges to staff supervision in the Department of Corrections’ context were identified with reference to the literature and are discussed.CONCLUSION: Seven areas of further focus were identified and recommendations are made with reference to the literature.
... There have been several articles published since 2012 that were not included in the research reviews (Chiller & Crisp;Egan, 2012;Hair, 2013;Manthorpe, Moriarty, Hussein, Stevens, & Sharpe, 2013;O'Donoghue, 2012;O'Donoghue & Tsui, 2012;Pack, 2012). Three of these articles (Egan, 2012;Hair, 2013;Manthorpe et al., 2013) mapped the practice of supervision in each of the author's respective settings. ...
... There have been several articles published since 2012 that were not included in the research reviews (Chiller & Crisp;Egan, 2012;Hair, 2013;Manthorpe, Moriarty, Hussein, Stevens, & Sharpe, 2013;O'Donoghue, 2012;O'Donoghue & Tsui, 2012;Pack, 2012). Three of these articles (Egan, 2012;Hair, 2013;Manthorpe et al., 2013) mapped the practice of supervision in each of the author's respective settings. Egan (2012) described how social workers were being supervised in Australia in 2007 and found that 80% were supervised with most being supervised in their workplace; and almost one-third participated in two types of supervision, e.g. ...
Chapter
This chapter discusses how research evidence may be used to inform clinical social work supervision and explores how an evidence-informed approach may be applied in practice in a scenario. The chapter concludes by encouraging supervisors to be mindful about the evidence that informs their supervisory practice and to ask their supervisees about the evidence that relates to the issues they are presenting in supervision.
... As shown in Table 1 earlier in this chapter licensing or full registration often requires adherence to minimum hours of supervision in the period following qualification, thus ensuring (at least in theory) that supervision must be made available. Research shows that this doesn't always mean that there is full compliance with expectations as in several jurisdictions practitioners were not receiving regular supervision (Baginsky et al, 2010;Egan, 2012;Robinson, 2013). In England recent research has examined the provision of supervision for beginning practitioners. ...
... There are several possible explanations for this development; one of the most likely is the intensification in demands for supervision where organisations and professional bodies set expectations. It is not known if there is an international shortage of supervisors but Egan (2012) has noted in Australia that workforce dynamics and lack of education and training opportunities for current and potential supervisors may coalesce and create strain on supervisory capacity. The other factor that has influenced the development of interprofessional supervision is found perhaps more in adult social work. ...
Chapter
Internationally many social work professional bodies require practitioners to participate in regular clinical supervision. Supervision is believed to support continuing development of professional skills, the safeguarding of competent and ethical practice and oversight of the wellbeing of the practitioner. This chapter considers what might be needed over the stages of social workers’ careers and explores some aspects of diversity in the modes of delivery of supervision, including supervision between members of different professions.
... The significance of supervision within our profession is highlighted by findings from two major national studies, one from Australia (Egan, 2012) and the other from New Zealand O'Donoghue, 2012) both drawing on their doctoral research. Egan presents findings from a mixed methods quantitative study of supervision in Australia in 2007. ...
... Recent research by Adamson, Beddoe and Davys (2013) has explored practitioner understandings of resilience as a concept grounded not only in individual factors but influenced by workplace dynamics and organisational climate. Supervision has been identified by practitioners as a mechanism to help them remain resilient and hopeful in their practice (Adamson, 2012;Beddoe, Davys & Adamson, 2014;Collins, 2007) but disquiet regarding the mixing of line management and professional supervision is evident (Adamson, 2012;Beddoe, 2011a;Egan, 2012), while questions regarding the efficacy of external supervision arrangements have been canvassed (Cleak & Smith, 2012;Beddoe, 2011a). These concerns warrants further investment of time and effort to clarify and strengthen a distinction in practice, between line management supervision and professional supervision focused on fostering reflective practice in personal professional development. ...
Chapter
In 2012 Australian Social Work published a collection of articles focused on current research and commentary on Australasian social work supervision, edited by Jane Maidment, Liz Beddoe and under the guiding eye of the journal’s editor Christine Bigby (65(2)). It was the intention of the special section that the contents would “confirm the centrality of positive, learning focussed supervision, while fostering appropriate accountability and best practice in our discipline”(Maidment & Beddoe, 2012). Supervision has long been at the heart of professional development in social work and is a career-long commitment in our profession. Supervision provides a venue for diverse learning activities; a place and space where practitioners can refine their knowledge; develop skills and examine the challenges that are found in everyday practice. This chapter introduces the book and explores some recent developments in the scholarship and research of supervision.
... This call for training is constrained, as Australian (Pilcher, 1984;Egan, 2012) and North American surveys (Kadushin, 1992) indicate, by the fact that access to supervision training is limited. In line with this, the research participants reinforced the importance of understanding the ostensibly contradictory roles of line management and supervision. ...
... Research indicates that, in the experience of the majority of Australian social workers, line management and professional supervision occur within the one role (Egan, 2012). This indicates that it is possible to retain and strengthen line management-supervisory arrangements so they more effectively manage the competing tensions inherent in that role. ...
Article
Full-text available
Supervisors of social work practice have long grappled with professional and disciplinary expectations and the competing daily organisational demands of a transformed neo-liberal human service environment. This article reports on a study that investigated the practice of supervision in the Australian context and the influences, both managerial and professional, that inform supervision practice. Drawing upon data from an online survey and a series of focus groups with supervisors and supervisees, the study found that there are very real challenges in providing professional supervision in contemporary practice contexts. The findings indicate that the issues generated by the coexistence of professional and managerial discourses in supervision are important to address if the discipline is to resist the negative impact of neo-liberal managerialism.
... Supervision is now strongly mandated in many countries with licensing or full registration requiring minimum hours of supervision in the period following qualification, thus ensuring that supervision must be made available. However, research in several jurisdictions reports practitioners were not receiving regular supervision (in Australia, Egan, 2012; in Australia and the United Kingdom, Robinson, 2013;in England, Turner-Daly & Jack, 2014). Turner-Daly and Jack (2014) reported that more than half of participants in their recent study indicated that health and well-being was either dealt with in a rather superficial mode or was simply not addressed. ...
Chapter
This chapter addresses the needs for social work students to graduate as practitioners able to demonstrate resilience in the face of competing stakeholder expectations and complex practice environments. Identifying a synergy between social work identity and current research regarding the concept of resilience, the chapter considers strategies for embedding a focus on the development of a resilient practitioner within the social work curriculum. The chapter emphasises the nurturing of skills of critical reflection and self-care, knowledge bases that inform an understanding of resilience, and the creation of reflective processes such as supervision and professional development that can sustain resilience beyond the academy and into professional practice.
... It was hosted online and went live at the beginning of July 2015 and remained live until the end of August 2015. An online format was chosen to collect categorical data about international student exchange practice because it was cost effective, allowed for faster response rates, provided unrestricted geographical coverage, and left fewer unanswered questions ( Egan, 2012). Data were imported into SPSS version 22 (SPSS Ltd, Chicago IL). ...
Article
Full-text available
Social work in a globalised environment requires preparing social work graduates with intercultural skills, respect for alternative worldviews and a commitment to the coproduction of intellectual knowledge and theory informing social work practice. Incorporating a student exchange program as part of social work degrees enables students to gain exposure to social work practice in alternative contexts. Such programs have been found to contribute to developing student confidence, intercultural awareness and international employability (Bell & Anscombe, 2013; Bohman & Borglin, 2014; Choi, Slaugbaugh & Kim, 2012: Van Hoff & Verbeeten, 2005).
... Around the world, the social work profession is united in the prioritisation of the supervisor as the primary educator on the field placement (Bradley, Engelbrecht, & Hojer, 2010;Cleak & Smith, 2012;Davis, 2010;Egan, 2012;Hung, Ng, & Fung, 2010;Kadushin & Harkness, 2002;O'Donoghue & Tsui, 2012;Parker, 2007;Peleg-Oren, Macgowan, & Even-Zahav, 2007), despite the history of postcolonial hierarchy and the ever-present cultural differences. This is a crucial dynamic as the majority of student learning is mediated through this relationship, defining the quality of the learning opportunities and placement tasks presented (Cleak & Smith, 2012). ...
Article
The international field placement is a site of both identity confusion and identity development for the social work student. Aiming to develop their professional identity they are faced with a challenge: the presence of two dominant identities, the tourist identity and the student identity. Whilst the embodiment of the tourist identity has often facilitated the student’s motivation to undertake the placement experience, the student identity is what both university staff and agency field educators perceive as integral to student engagement in this remote educational setting. Social work educators perceive this identity challenge as an impediment to learning. In contrast, students report feeling that their tourist traits strengthened their personal and professional capacity, natural curiosity and ability to engage with the local community. By analysing the roles of university staff as liaison support, and field educators as agency supervisors, it is possible to explore a teaching and learning relationship that is student-centred, grounded in the immersive international experience. Through privileging the student’s voice social work educators involved with organising, supporting and supervising international field placements are able to understand the placement as a continuum of learning. On this continuum identity reconciliation is viewed as a crucial element in the development of a professional identity.
... It was hosted online and went live at the beginning of July 2015 and remained live until the end of August 2015. An online format was chosen to collect categorical data about international student exchange practice because it was cost effective, allowed for faster response rates, provided unrestricted geographical coverage, and left fewer unanswered questions (Egan, 2012). ...
Article
International student exchange is pursued by Australian schools of social work as a strategy to engage with the internationalisation agenda set by government, universities, and the profession. However, little concrete information about the nature and scope of these activities exists. The study reported here aimed to address this gap. Twenty-seven of the 30 Australian universities that offer social work programs participated in an online survey about international student exchange activities. The results indicate that a majority of schools (n = 23) do engage in such activities, with international field placements the most frequent form of exchange. Exchanges are most likely to be facilitated and managed by social work staff. The findings, and their implications for the development of good practice in international student exchange, are discussed. This research provides a “point-in-time” snapshot of international exchange in Australian social work education and a benchmark for future analyses of this expanding practice in the profession.
... A survey conducted in 2007 on 675 social workers in the entire Australia shows that 84% of the Australian social workers benefit from supervision, but 2/3 of them show that the role of supervisor is played by the manager, which can practically turn supervision into a relationship of control and evaluation (Egan, 2012). The author of the mentioned study also laments the lack of researchers on supervision, despite the importance of the June, 2017 Educaţie Multidimensională Volume 9, Issue 1 28 practice. ...
... The Map for Interprofessional Supervision is therefore not the reality for everyone. Health, psychological, and social service workforce supervisors often do not have training in supervision (Beddoe & Davys, 2016;Egan, 2012;Falender, 2018), choice of supervisor is not assured (Davys et al., 2017), and those new to practice can be paired, without consultation, with a supervisor from another profession. The parameters of diversity, defined in the research to consider only difference of profession, may also have constrained the exploration. ...
Article
Interprofessional supervision, when the supervisor and supervisee belong to different professions, is a break from traditional supervision practice. A qualitative study of the interprofessional supervision practice of 29 experienced supervisors and supervisees identified five components of interprofessional supervision: ideal prerequisites, qualities, relationship, the supervision session, and other professional relationships. Reports of interprofessional supervision practice were considered alongside recordings of actual supervision sessions. From this data, and in collaboration with the participants, a map was developed to guide effective interprofessional supervision practice. When chosen by the supervisee, interprofessional supervision strengthened professional identity and provided a catalyst for new ways of working.
... According to contemporary supervision approaches, the establishment of a partnership relationship based on the principle of working together for solving problems between the concerned individuals is considered important in terms of improving teacher competence. At the same time, studies show that supervisors are more likely to focus on the training of the supervised person than their supervisory problems (Caras & Sandu, 2014;Egan, 2012;O'Donoghue, Wong Yuh Ju, & Tsui, 2017;Hair, 2013;Kadushin, 1992). As Memisoglu (2001) has described, contemporary supervision considers the democratic learning and teaching environment as a whole, and one of its most important characteristics that is based on collaboration. ...
Article
Full-text available
In this study, in-class lesson observations were made with volunteer teachers working in primary and secondary schools using alternative observation tools regarding the scope of contemporary educational supervision. The study took place during the fall and spring semesters of the 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 academic years and the class observations were made with six alternative volunteer teachers in the primary and secondary schools in the provincial and district centers using alternative observation tools. In the classroom observations, the teacher's verbal flow scheme, teacher's movement scheme and student behaviors both during tasks and not, were analyzed. Observations were made during the two classes with teacher's permission. After the first observation, an information meeting was held and then the second observation was made. Following the observations, interviews were held with the teachers. In interviews, the information about the class observations was shared with teachers and their opinions about research were asked. It has been found that alternative observations, in general, have a positive effect on the professional development of teachers. It is concluded that this type of observation approach positively affects teachers' in-class activities, helps in classroom management and teaching arrangements and positively affects student's unwanted behaviors.
... Some countries with well-established social work systems also employ external supervision practices in social work organizations. For example, social workers in Australia received different types of supervision, including a combination of external and internal supervision (Egan, 2012). Social workers in Sweden also used external supervision as an alternative choice (Bradley and Hojer, 2009). ...
Article
Full-text available
Today’s social work supervision is highly administration focused; however, the approach to supervision in Mainland China is unusual. According to a study conducted in Shenzhen, a special economic region in the Pearl River Delta, a dual supervision approach has been created. Consistent with recent empirical studies by international scholars, supervision can exist in many forms that best fit the needs of professional social workers. The findings in this study remind us to reattach importance to the educational functions of today’s social work supervision. The indigenized external supervision approach developed in Shenzhen can be used for reference in other cities in China.
... This is supervision at its creative best and most courageous. (Carroll 2010, 17) However, for supervisors to facilitate and deliver effective (and creative and courageous), supervision requires energy, preparation, training and ongoing development (Davys and Beddoe 2010;Milne et al. 2011;Egan 2012;Hair 2013;Watkins 2014). With these considerations in mind, the present model for improving supervision practice was developed. ...
Article
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Development and maintenance of professional competencies are essential for practitioners across all disciplines within the helping professions to ensure safe, accountable and ethical practice. This includes the practice of supervision which is considered as a set of competencies in its own right. For many supervisors, however, there is a struggle to find the opportunity for in-depth critical reflection and review of their supervision for the purpose of continuous professional development. This paper describes a learning community for supervision where, through a process of collaborative enquiry, four experienced supervisors, in Aotearoa New Zealand, from diverse professional and practice backgrounds critically reflected on audio-recordings of their supervision of practitioners. From this focus on direct practice, the group members created a model for critique and feedback which is centred on a ‘thinking aloud’ process. Key themes, which included supervisor authenticity and presence, encouraging reflection, participation and uncovering assumptions and the benefits of the thinking aloud process were identified and explored. Rarely is the practice of supervision scrutinised in a group setting for the purpose of learning and development. Placing supervision practice ‘under the microscope’ allows for creative opportunities and the promotion of different models of supervision development.
... Much of this polarity is brought about by thinking about the impact that lived experience has on notions such as professionalism, boundary setting and implicit positions of power. As a profession and as a source of academic scholarship, social work has enforced understandings of these notions through practice-based critical reflection (Yip, 2006), through professional structures such as clinical supervision (Egan, 2012), and through a formative understanding of reflexivity (Watts, 2019). Throughout all of this, the positioning of the expert is a moveable feast and the place of lived experience in the literature, ill defined. ...
Article
A personal narrative regarding experiences in grief research, practice and academia.
... Much of this polarity is brought about by thinking about the impact that lived experience has on notions such as professionalism, boundary setting and implicit positions of power. As a profession and as a source of academic scholarship, social work has enforced understandings of these notions through practice-based critical reflection (Yip, 2006), through professional structures such as clinical supervision (Egan, 2012), and through a formative understanding of reflexivity (Watts, 2019). Throughout all of this, the positioning of the expert is a moveable feast and the place of lived experience in the literature, ill defined. ...
Article
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The transition from lived experience to social work researcher or teacher is well known and, in many ways, an expected pathway. What is less documented is the lived experience that happens to the social work researcher or teacher, the moment the researcher becomes the research topic, or the teacher becomes the lesson. In writing these reflections we, the authors, have reflected on, and engaged with, our experience as researchers and academics who know and understand grief from a distance. We have previously positioned ourselves as experts and, through lived experience, have come to a place of not knowing. From there we have stumbled awkwardly on to new understandings, hopefully to enrich our future research and teaching.
... Supervisory support has been found to be positively linked to job satisfaction, particularly in child welfare social work (Burns, 2010), retention (Chen & Scannapieco, 2010;Dickinson & Painter, 2009), stress levels (Engstrom, 2017), developing professional identity (Moorhead, Bell, & Bowles, 2016) and greater perceptions of wellbeing (Mänttäri-van der Kuip, 2014). While licensing or full registration of social workers frequently mandates minimum hours of supervision, research demonstrates that compliance with such expectations can be patchy, as research in both Australia and England reported that practitioners did not receive regular supervision (Baginsky et al., 2010;Egan, 2012;Robinson, 2013;Turner-Daly & Jack, 2014). An English study explored the content and purpose of supervision for beginning practitioners (Manthorpe, Moriarty, Hussein, Stevens, & Sharpe, 2013) seeking the views of NQSWs and their managers on various elements of their support and development in their jobs. ...
Article
INTRODUCTION: Many social work professional bodies and regulators mandate regular supervision. Supervision is believed to support continuing development of professional skills, safeguarding of competent and ethical practice, oversight of the practitioner’s work for adherence to organisational expectations, and support for practitioner wellbeing.METHOD: Phase two of the Enhancing the Readiness to Practice of Newly-Qualified Social Workers (Enhance R2P) project employed a mixed methods study (surveys and interviews) to explore how well prepared newly qualified social workers (NQSWs) in their first two years of practice are to enter professional social work. A survey of managers /supervisors and newly qualified social workers in Aotearoa New Zealand about the readiness to practice of recent graduates was conducted. The survey design included a replication of a similar study carried out in England.FINDINGS: Questions about supervision were included in the survey and in interviews with both NQSWs and supervisors/managers. Around half of NQSWs were supervised at least once every two weeks, but another half were supervised monthly or less frequently. Observation of practice was either very infrequent or entirely absent from the professional supervision of NQSWs.IMPLICATIONS: Study findings revealed great variability in the formal supervision and other supports available for NQSWs which may impact on retention. More integrated systems of supervision, peer support and planned professional development are needed.
... Managerial sovereignty has also been reinforced through the appointment of generic managers who do not come from social work backgrounds and have little appreciation for clients' needs and wishes, the social work process and professional supervision (Gowdy et al., 1993;O'Donoghue, 2010). At times, line management has been used in place of social work supervision (Egan, 2012). The professional response to this has been, in part, to develop new models of supervision with the development of communities of practice, peer and group supervision, and even self-supervision (Irwin, 2006;Joubert et al., 2013;McMahon and Patton, 2002). ...
Article
Supervision is recognised as one of the major determinants of the quality of service to social work clients, the advancement of professional development and social workers' level of job satisfaction. However, educational and supportive roles of supervisors have been constrained by administrative obligations. It is envisaged that the future path of supervision will be a new form of organisational learning. This paper aims to integrate supervision with three other kinds of organisational learning: mentorship, consultation and coaching. A typology of organisational learning is presented and the implications of an integrative organisational learning practice are discussed.
... Supervisory support has been found to be positively linked to job satisfaction, particularly in child welfare social work (Burns, 2010), retention (Chen & Scannapieco, 2010;Dickinson & Painter, 2009), stress levels (Engstrom, 2017), developing professional identity (Moorhead, Bell, & Bowles, 2016) and greater perceptions of wellbeing (Mänttäri-van der Kuip, 2014). While licensing or full registration of social workers frequently mandates minimum hours of supervision, research demonstrates that compliance with such expectations can be patchy, as research in both Australia and England reported that practitioners did not receive regular supervision (Baginsky et al., 2010;Egan, 2012;Robinson, 2013;Turner-Daly & Jack, 2014). An English study explored the content and purpose of supervision for beginning practitioners (Manthorpe, Moriarty, Hussein, Stevens, & Sharpe, 2013) seeking the views of NQSWs and their managers on various elements of their support and development in their jobs. ...
Article
Full-text available
INTRODUCTION: Many social work professional bodies and regulators mandate regular supervision and professional development. Supervision is believed to support continuing development of professional skills, safeguarding of competent and ethical practice, oversight of the practitioner’s work for adherence to organisational expectations, and support for practitioner wellbeing.METHOD: Phase two of the Enhancing the Readiness to Practice of Newly Qualified Social Workers (Enhance R2P) project employed a mixed methods study (surveys and interviews) to explore how well prepared newly qualified social workers (NQSWs) are, in their first two years of practice, to enter professional social work. A survey of managers/supervisors and NQSWs in Aotearoa New Zealand about the readiness to practise of recent graduates was conducted.FINDINGS: Questions about supervision and professional development were included in the survey and in interviews with both NQSWs and supervisors/managers. Around half of NQSWs were supervised at least once every two weeks, but another half were supervised monthly or less frequently. Observation of practice by supervisors was either very infrequent or entirely absent from the professional development of NQSWs.IMPLICATIONS: Study findings revealed great variability in the formal supervision and other supports available for NQSWs which may impact on retention and practitioner wellbeing. More integrated systems of supervision, peer support and planned professional development are needed.
Article
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Health professionals are increasingly expected to do more with less. A resource-constrained healthcare environment, expanding scope of clinical roles and increased demand for healthcare all contribute to this seeming conundrum. Consequently, health professionals are relying more on professional support mechanisms in the workplace (Saxby, Wilson & Newcombe, 2015).
Article
The aim of this study was to investigate the role of social support in moderating the impact of three forms of work-to-family conflict and family-to-work conflict—time-based conflict, behaviour-based conflict and strain-based conflict on psychological strain experiences of Australian social workers. Data were collected from members of a social work professional body, using an online survey. Four hundred and thirty-nine responses were used for analysis. Hierarchical multiple regression analysis was used to test the moderating effects of social support on the relationship between work–family conflict and psychological strain. Of the eighteen models tested for moderator effects, only one model for family support was significant. The models involving supervisor support and colleague support showed no moderator effects. The findings suggest the need for social workers, their workplaces and the social work professional body to better understand the nature of work–family conflict experienced by social workers in order to identify other ways for supporting them.
Chapter
This chapter discusses how research evidence may be used to inform clinical social work supervision and explores how an evidence-informed approach may be applied in practice in a scenario. The chapter concludes by encouraging supervisors to be mindful about the evidence that informs their supervisory practice and to ask their supervisees about the evidence that relates to the issues they are presenting in supervision.
Article
The growth of professional supervision in social work has been accompanied by complex attempts to theorise key elements of supervisory practice and highlight the need to further examine what constitutes supervisory support in current regulatory environments. Changes in human service organisations resulting from new public management generate a need to theorise broader patterns of support available to human service workers. This article draws on an electronic, mixed-method self-reporting study of advice and support-seeking behaviours of 193 human service professionals in 3 South Australian organisations. The findings indicate the fluidity of current professional supervision practice, with workers seeking professional wisdom, identifying practice direction, and debriefing with a range of colleagues within and outside their organisation. Accordingly, the article confirms that supervisors should no longer be thought of as the sole providers of professional advice and support for human service workers and conceptualises the workers as active agents shaping their own learning.
Article
Compassion fatigue is a term used to describe behaviour and emotions experienced by those who help people who have experienced trauma. It is viewed as a potential consequence of stress related to such exposure and is understood to be influenced by the practitioner’s empathic response. The aims of this study were to obtain greater understanding of social workers experience of working with distressed clients; examine what develops personal, professional and organisational resilience; and explore ways in which workers can be better protected from compassion fatigue. The research design was qualitative using semi-structured interviews involving six social workers presently working with distressed clients or clients known to have experienced distress. Four major themes were identified using thematic analysis: (i) the complexities of social work, (ii) supportive and unsupportive contexts, (iii) promoting personal well-being/self-protection and (iv) resilience as a changing systemic and complex process. The findings provide important insights into the participants’ experiences of working with distressed clients and, more specifically, their experience of compassion fatigue and stories of resilience. The research provides clear direction for future research at organisational, educational and interpersonal levels.
Article
Much of what is written by non-disabled authors about living with disabilities does not mirror people’s experiences or opportunities. Literature is often written about people’s abilities (or disabilities) rather than by or with people. Discourse about supervision of social work students can risk assuming that supervisors are people who do not identify as living with disabilities. This research is a co-operative inquiry into the experience of being an Australian social work student supervisor who is living with disabilities. The article extends the literature about being a social work field educator to include ability, and values the practice wisdom of experienced social workers including a current student supervisor who is living with a disability.
Article
This article discusses the issues and challenges facing social work supervision in the twenty-first century. The key issues explored concern: (1) the evolving nature of supervision and its relationship to the professionalization of social work practice; (2) the influence of changes within health and social service organizations, professions and regulatory authorities upon supervision; and (3) the influence of evidence-based practice discourse on social work supervision. The challenges arising from this discussion pertain to: (i) the need to reconstruct the theory of social work supervision to align with the plurality and diversity of supervision practices; (ii) the case for revisiting the sanctioning, mandating and regulation of supervision; and (iii) the development of a future research agenda for supervision that focuses on how supervision contributes to social work practice with clients and the social work practitioner's competence. The article concludes with suggestions regarding how social work scholars can contribute to the development of supervision both locally and internationally.
Article
Within Scotland, as elsewhere, there has been a resurgence of interest in the critical role of supervision within social work practice. However, those in transition from practitioner to supervisor still commonly report feeling unprepared for their changing role and uncertain about what it entails. This paper will explore our experiences of delivering an accredited post-qualifying supervision course since 2008 to professionals from different sectors, diverse professional backgrounds, and with varying levels of supervisory experience. The course provides time and space to think about the different elements of supervision, and to consider how these translate into day-to-day practice. We will argue that the opportunity to explore the complexity of the supervisory task, while learning from and with peers, is an important part of making the transition in professional role and identity. Moreover, in organisational contexts where the reflective space which supervision can provide may feel under threat, and where the focus on people who use services can at times be lost, professional staff undertaking supervision training describe feeling more confident and competent in their role, with renewed commitment both to uphold the value of reflective supervision, and to sustain a clear emphasis on people who use services.
Article
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Purpose The purpose of this paper is to discuss the underlying assumption that social workers need reflective supervision specifically, as opposed to managerial or any other form of supervision or support, and to consider whether our focus on the provision of reflective supervision may be preventing us from thinking more broadly and creatively about what support local authority child and family social workers need and how best to provide it. Design/methodology/approach The paper provides an argument based on the author’s own research and a selective review of the literature. Findings Reflective supervision has no future in local authority child and family social work because: first, there is no clear understanding of what reflective supervision is; second, there is no clear evidence for its effectiveness; and third, sizeable proportion of local authority child and family social workers in England do not receive reflective supervision and many never have. Originality/value The paper challenges the received wisdom about the value of reflective supervision and advocates exploring alternative models for supporting best practice in child and family social work.
Article
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In 1997, noting that the 50th anniversary of the publication of “Coefficient Alpha and the Internal Structure of Tests” was fast approaching, Lee Cronbach planned what have become the notes published here. His aimwas to point out theways in which his views on coefficient alpha had evolved, doubting nowthat the coefficientwas the bestway of judging the reliability of an instrument to which it was applied. Tracing in these notes, in vintage Cronbach style, his thinking before, during, and after the publication of the alpha paper, his “current thoughts” on coefficient alpha are that alpha covers only a small perspective of the range of measurement uses for which reliability information is needed and that it should be viewed within a much larger system of reliability analysis, generalizability theory.
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• Summary: This article identifies important challenges facing social work supervision as a result of the social, political and economic changes that have characterized the last two decades in most Western countries. In response a re-positioning of the critical tradition in the scholarship and practice of social work has been proffered by several authors (for example, Allan et al., 2003; Dominelli, 2002) as a means of addressing and counteracting the more negative challenges facing social work emanating from these changes. We argue that this critical re-positioning can also be applied to similar challenges facing practice supervision. • Findings: As the social work landscape has to contend with a more conservative and fiscally restrictive environment, so too has practice supervision become more focused on efficiency, accountability and worker performance often at the expense of professional and practice development. In addition, current research has identified a crisis in the probity of practice supervision where many practitioners cite disillusionment and despair, as well as lack of opportunity to stop and critically reflect on practice situations as another challenge in this changed climate. • Application: As a significant site of practice, a critically informed supervision praxis has the potential to emerge as a site for modelling social change strategies associated with the critical social work tradition.
Article
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Supervision is an expanding professional practice in health and social care. To a large extent, this is linked to the growing regulation of health and social care professions and the explicit linking of supervision to quality and accountability. Links can be demonstrated between the revitalisation of supervision as a professional practice, focused on practitioner development, and the impact of ‘the risk society’, which promotes greater surveillance of professional practice. This article reviews contemporary discussion of the practice of supervision in social work and draws on a small study that investigated the experience of six expert practitioners of professional supervision in order to explore the impact of the ‘risk discourse’. These supervisors rejected a surveillance role for supervision and supported the maintenance of a reflective space as crucial to effective practice.
Article
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The purposes of this article are to position mixed methods research (mixed research is a synonym) as the natural complement to traditional qualitative and quantitative research, to present pragmatism as offering an attractive philosophical partner for mixed methods research, and to provide a framework for designing and conducting mixed methods research. In doing this, we briefly review the paradigm “wars” and incompatibility thesis, we show some commonalities between quantitative and qualitative research, we explain the tenets of pragmatism, we explain the fundamental principle of mixed research and how to apply it, we provide specific sets of designs for the two major types of mixed methods research (mixed-model designs and mixed-method designs), and, finally, we explain mixed methods research as following (recursively) an eight-step process. A key feature of mixed methods research is its methodological pluralism or eclecticism, which frequently results in superior research (compared to monomethod research). Mixed methods research will be successful as more investigators study and help advance its concepts and as they regularly practice it.
Article
The purpose of the study was to examine the compatibility of the administrative and the educational supervisory functions. Social work supervisors who perform both the admininistrative and the educational function were compared to those whose function is almost entirely educational, as regards role conflict and ambiguity. Higher role conflicts experienced by the first group led to the conclusion that the administrative and the educational functions are basically incompatible. For better performance of these important functions, the authors recommend their separation.
Article
This paper reviews the status of the social work labor force engaged in supervision as a primary or secondary function based on 1995 data drawn from the full membership of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW). Changing patterns are illustrated through comparisons to 1988 and 1991 NASW data. The demographics, areas of practice, auspice of practice, and career development patterns of this sub-set of social workers are explored. Significant trends include the decrease in the proportion of NASW members holding supervisory positions and the dearth of supervisors in the for-profit sector. These labor force trends are then discussed within the context of actual and potential changes in the purposes and practice of social work supervision, particularly in a managed care environment, and the implications of such changes for the profession.
Article
The purpose of this study was to examine differences, as perceived by supervisees, between supervisors employed within the same organization and their supervisees (“internal supervisors”) and supervisors employed outside their supervisees' organizations (“external supervisors”). It was hypothesized that differences would be found between them on factors related to “interferences” in supervisor-supervisee communication. As expected, external supervisors were found to provide more constructive criticism to supervisees than internal ones, to carry out more confrontation when necessary and appropriate, and to possess more expert-based authority (based on knowledge and skills) and less formal authority. No significant differences between the two groups were found regarding role ambiguity and conflict of supervisors.
Article
Processes of organizational change in the human services are discussed from the perspective of front-line staff. The author argues that we can better appreciate responses to change by considering how staff strive to construct integrity in the light of challenges they construe to their values and their practices. Developmental and conceptual implications of the analysis are outlined in the context of change in human service organizations as they move towards an industrial or post-industrial era.
Article
This article explores the characteristics of traditional social work supervision, comparing it with supervision in the counselling/clinical field and in industry. The contention is that while social work supervision has learned from advances in other supervisory fields, the traditional social work supervision functions of administration, education, support, and mediation lead to a more holistic practice within child protection work than is possible using other narrower frameworks. A discussion of supervision within a community visitor program that promotes and protects the rights and interests of children and young people who are in state care is used to support this contention.
Article
Emotional intelligence (EI) has become one of the new management 'buzz' terms. It is suggested that this is the missing ingredient that separates average from top management or performance. However, despite its potential relevance for social work practice, there has been little investigation and few reports about its application in social work settings. This paper seeks to stimulate debate about the role of EI in social work practice by considering its development, definitions and problematics. Whilst the empirical evidence supporting the existence of a separate and measurable EI is ambiguous and emergent, the role of emotion in the organization of human behaviour is more firmly established. The paper examines the role of EI and emotion in relation to five core social work tasks: engagement of users; assessment and observation; decision making; collaboration and co-operation; dealing with stress. The paper situates itself in the rapidly changing context of social work: the merger of social services departments with larger more powerful bureaucracies; the movement towards integrated service delivery; and the new social work degree. It is argued that social work needs to identify its claims to professional competence at a time of such change, one of which is the ability to use relationships to address users' needs. This requires the capacity to handle both one's own and others' emotions effectively.
Article
This article is based on a paper given by the author at an IASSWE regional seminar in Singapore, August, 1989.The historical development of the practice and supervision of social work in the United Kingdom and the United States of America are considered. Polar ideal-type ‘cultures of supervision’ are identified to examine the potential for ambiguity and ambivalence in contemporary social work supervision. The writer then analyses the notional ‘continuum’ of supervision arrangements in the light of two critical publications from the United Kingdom. Finally, some essential steps towards reducing the ‘tyranny’ of responsibilities for supervisors are presented.
Article
The paper updates a survey of Social Work supervision first conducted in 1973. In 1989 a national sample of N.A.S.W. members were contacted by mail. The sample consisted of 1500 direct service worker supervisees and 1500 supervisors. Questionnaire returns indicated that supervision was generally implemented in individual conferences scheduled once a week, lasting one to one and a half hours. The majority of both supervisors and supervisees expressed satisfaction with supervision. Both groups perceived educational and supportive supervision to be more important than administrative supervision. Both groups perceived expertise as the principal sources of supervisors power in the relationship.
Article
A questionnaire was sent to 1500 social work supervisors and 1500 direct-service supervisees identified from the National Association of Social Workers membership list. Two open-ended questions asked for supervisor's self-perception of their "strengths" and "shortcomings" in supervision. Supervisees were asked to identify similar attributes in their supervisors. Respondents generated 2746 comments on supervisor "strengths and shortcomings." Categorization of responses indicated that practice expertise and relationship skills manifested in the supervisory relationship were among the principal "strengths." Reluctance to exercise managerial authority, hesitancy to advocate for staff with administration and inadequate time devoted to supervision were among the principal "shortcomings."
Article
Though supervision has been an integral part of social work practice since its inception there has been relatively little professional writing in this area since the 1950s and even less research. Two surveys were conducted in Victoria (with practitioners and administrators) to obtain information on the state of staff supervision. Data from the practitioners (N=102) indicate supervision is more available than it used to be; is considered to be necessary for effective practice; and most respondents believe it should continue indefinitely. While the quality of supervision has improved, one third of the respondents believe it needs up-grading. A majority think there should be more training programs in supervision, and that the Australian Association of Social Workers has a leadership role to play in this regard.
Article
This paper considers the implications for practice of supervision in the 1990s within the contexts of educational, political and organisational influences. Whereas previous articles have generally focused on whether the functions of education, administration and support can coexist, the contribution of this paper is to prioritise these functions and to highlight which subfunctions require greater emphasis in the current climate. It is argued that the key focus is that of accountability and service delivery. In addition, the role of the supervisor is to facilitate the integration of theory in practice, while providing direction for the practitioner to identify with social work values and principles. Self awareness remains a significant function in view of the complex nature of the work. Concerns are raised about the strengths and weaknesses of current post modern practices. This article represents an attempt to assist the supervisor in prioritizing the various functions given the need to rationalise resources.
Article
This article reviews a study of the recently commercialised employment services within Australia. I t focuses on non-government organisations and examines how government competition policies have reshaped service structure and service delivery. Studying employment services provides an opportunity to understand the impact of policies that are being implemented across a wide range of human services. Community based services are under threat because the commercialised system requires an outcomes focus which conflicts at times with social justice values and service to the disadvantaged. The study found a dichotomy of views between workers who accepted the new commercialised focus and felt comfortable working within it, and those who opposed it. Social workers' reactions to these findings, when they were presented at the AASW Victorian State Conference (1998), showed a parallel division. The changes are very challenging to workers within human services who are committed to social justice. This paper explores these difficulties and looks at future directions.
Article
The need for a shared understanding of supervision is explored in relation to the supervisory role and organisational culture. It is orgued that supervisors can be change agents within an organisational context but that the working contract needs to be negotiated carefully to safeguard the ethical interests of all parties.
Article
The paper reviews the tensions, complexities, risks and ambiguities of the role and tasks of the social work supervisor: these can surface in efforts to negotiate individualised supervision agreements with colleagues and with students. Given the marked lack of national and international research attention to processes in social work supervision, the paper explores the skills, principles and arguments for a suggested model of ‘Developmental Supervision’ — in the context of a framework of supervision practice congruent with the knowledge, skills and values of social work. Finally, there is some exploration of the unintended consequences of ‘Quick-Fix’ Supervision for the cutture of decision-thinking and professional practice.
Article
Using the Recommended Standards for Social Work Supervision developed by the Australian Association of Social Workers, supervisors and supervisees who occupied social work positions in Community Services Victoria (CSV), a statutory child welfare department (N=94) and in nine Melbourne teaching hospitals (N=139) completed self-administered questionnaires on the nature of the supervision which they gave or received. The extent to which reported supervisory practices conform to key recommended standards is analysed. The standards were upheld to a greater degree in hospital social work than in statutory child welfare. However, only minor differences between the two fields were found in the degree to which supervision was perceived to encompass administrative, educational and supportive functions. The findings provide a baseline for evaluating changes in supervisory practices within and between different fields of practice. They are also useful for agencies trying to develop performance indicators in the area of supervision standards and practices.
Article
E. L. Holloway and R. E. Hosford (1983) identified goals for research in psychotherapy supervision. They suggested that development of this new scientific area should proceed in an orderly fashion. Phase 1 should include descriptive naturalistic research with hypotheses to be generated from its results. In Phase 2, researchers incorporate analyses involving inferential strategies and use experimentation to confirm the hypotheses of Phase 1. In this chapter, we identify and present the extant research of the first 2 phases in a systematic way to describe therapist variables. Supervisor characteristics are described along 2 dimensions. The first describes supervisor characteristics as those that can be objectively observed, on the one hand, and those characteristics that must be inferred from self-report or other means on the other. The 2nd dimension ranges from those supervisor characteristics that are consistent across all situations to those that are specific to supervision. In each instance, we describe the variable as it relates to supervision processes, supervisee satisfaction, and supervision outcome. In the final section, we discuss the state of research in Phases 1 and 2 and suggest areas for further exploration. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Administered 2 questionnaires about aspects of supervision and being supervised to 750 social casework supervisors and 750 supervisees. Data on supervisory power, satisfactions in supervision, functions and objectives of the supervisory process, contrasts between the ideal and actual supervisors, job problems, and supervisees' perceptions of their supervisors are presented. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Governance is now quite widely used as a frame of analysis, although not in social policy. This article elaborates some of the different roots and usages of governance and interrogates the utility of the concept for the discipline and study of social policy. Having traced the concept's diverse origins and contemporary usages, the article goes on to develop from them a framework for the analysis of developments in public policy in the UK under New Labour. This is then applied to consider in turn the nature of the public sphere, policy-making, policy implementation and societal incorporation. This leads to a discussion of the various strengths and weaknesses of governance. The former include its direct interest in policy-making, its focus on power and the state and the fact that it can connect different levels of action and analysis. On the negative side, though, one must question to what extent a governance perspective finds social policy interesting in its own right and whether its over-riding focus on state and government leads it to residualise both social policy and society.
Article
The international trend towards economic and financial management reforms is well documented with most governments now being involved in public sector restructuring programs, which have at their core the aim of improving the quality of administrative functions through a more responsive approach by state agencies (OECD 1996). In nations with administrative systems derived from British models these efforts may be generally referred to as ‘the de-Sir Humphreying of the Westminister model’ (Hood 1990:105). In essence this approach has had three aims. First, it has attempted to diminish the role of thestate and make the bureaucracy more responsive to political leaders. Second, it has aimed for greater efficiency through the use of private sector management techniques. Third, it has focused on the citizen as a customer and service recipient (Aucoin 1990:16).
Article
This paper suggests that a refocusing of supervision be seen as one possible strategy for lowering high attrition rates among child protection workers. Research findings from a qualitative study undertaken in two rural regions in the State of Victoria, Australia illustrate that the current model of supervision gives insufficient attention to the emotional intrusiveness of the work, to building resilience in workers and the implications of adult learning theory. An argument is made for a refocusing of supervision which moves beyond task, encompassing much of what is already known from the supervision literature. The supervisor can be thought of as a messenger who must send and receive messages to and from workers. What message is sent and how supervisors respond to what they receive are critical if the objective is to retain front-line staff. Critically, the supervisor must affirm both the merit and necessity of exploring the impact of feelings and thoughts on action and perception. A key message for supervisors to deliver is the value of individual workers to the organization, leading to increased self-esteem and self-efficacy. The paper also argues for adult learning via reflective supervision. This change to supervision involves a fundamental shift in organizational priorities and an acceptance throughout of the impact of anxiety on all those working in this field. Copyright © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Article
The move from social work practitioner to supervisor can cause a crisis in identity for some social workers, a point at which professional values, roles and commitment are questioned and re-analysed. Yet it is an area in which there appears to be little written to assist the worker to normalise their fears and anxieties, or to assist with making the process smoother for both supervisor and supervisee. Drawing on practice experience in a range of health and community service settings, the present study will examine some of the feelings, issues, challenges and dilemmas faced by new social work supervisors. It will also explore the preparation of supervisors, the use of power in the supervisory relationship and the need for training. It will then discuss tips and conditions for improving the supervisory relationship.
Article
The community services industry is in the process of substantial change, resulting in uncertainty about its future within a reconstructed Australian welfare state. This paper explores the existing status of human service professionals within the industry, and identifies a series of macro and micro processes that may influence their future role. It concludes by discussing some implications and possible opportunities for human service professionals, as well as the implications for tertiary educators.
Article
Findings are presented from an Australian study on the implementation and evaluation of a social work ethics audit risk management tool. The aim of the research is to determine the extent to which ethics audits are useful and applicable to Australian human service organisations. Over the period of the study, social workers and other human services staff and volunteers used the ethics audit to achieve outcomes that included provision of legitimate space for discussion of ethics in the workplace, and identification of gaps in knowledge and skills about ethical practice, and the policies and procedures that support such practice. The paper provides an analysis of how practitioners and managers grapple with the concept of ethical risk management, and outlines strategies that were developed in an effort to move towards greater accountability and ethical reflection in practice. Yes Yes
Internet reserach methods
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Hewson, C., Yule, P., Laurent, D., & Vogel, C. (2003). Internet reserach methods. London: Sage.
Enacting critical practice in public welfare contexts
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Hough, G. (2003). Enacting critical practice in public welfare contexts. In J. Allan, B. Pease, & L. Briskman (Eds.), Critical social work (pp. 214Á227). St. Leonards, NSW: Allen and Unwin.
Supervision in the welfare marketplace. Paper presented at the Supervision: From Rhetoric to Reality, Auckland College of Education, New Zealand. 184 R. Egan Downloaded by
  • F Wright
Wright, F. (2000, July). Supervision in the welfare marketplace. Paper presented at the Supervision: From Rhetoric to Reality, Auckland College of Education, New Zealand. 184 R. Egan Downloaded by [Universitat Politècnica de València] at 02:51 21 October 2014
Supervision in social work: Characteristics and trends in a changing environment Abusive supervisors, competent workers, and (white) friends in high places: Current perspectives on the work environment Effective second-story bureaucrats: Mastering the paradox of diversity
  • M Gibelman
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