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Supporting quality supervision: Insights for organizational practice

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Abstract

This article reports on the findings of a mixed-method study exploring the experiences of supervision within Australian social work. It looks particularly at the ways in which organisational cultures support supervision as a mechanism of practice improvement. The research suggests the need to better understand performance within the practice and supervision sphere, and create ways in which workers can be acknowledged to develop their skills in a supportive organisational environment. It argues that within a neoliberal context, supervision has the potential to assist in the management of competing workplace demands.

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... An additional standard requires all social workers, including experienced social workers, to seek supervision to ensure the requisite knowledge and skills to address complex client needs. While recent large scale profession-specific supervision studies documented supervision broadly in New Zealand (O'Donoghue, 2019) and Australia (Egan et al., 2018), there is only one known study of social work supervision in U.S. health care in the past twenty years. Berger and Mizrahi (2001) compared three time points in the 1990's to determine the presence of different types of supervision over time in health care in the U.S. In the last year's survey (i.e., 1996), 78% of the 279 respondents reported participation in clinical supervision with a social worker, with an additional 10% participating in what is now referred to as interdisciplinary clinical supervision. ...
... In response to our first research question (i.e., types of supervision), frontline Ontario social workers in health care were predominately receiving supervision. Most of the participants in this study (92%) received some form of supervision, similar to the 93% of New Zealand social workers across settings (O'Donoghue, 2019), and greater than the 75% of Australian social workers (Egan et al., 2018). One third of the sample received all three types of supervision -clinical, supportive, and administrative. ...
... One third of the sample received all three types of supervision -clinical, supportive, and administrative. However, only half of the participants in this study (52%) reported involvement in clinical supervision, which is less than their 91% and 61% counterparts in New Zealand and Australia, respectively (Egan et al., 2018;O'Donoghue, 2019). Specific to the health care context, this represents a substantial decrease in comparison to the 78% of participants receiving clinical supervision with a social work supervisor and the additional 10% engaging in interdisciplinary clinical supervision in the U.S. as reported by Berger and Mizrahi (2001).While the differing geographic contexts warrant caution in direct comparison, these results lend credence to concerns that declining resources and cost-containment measures have resulted in decreased staff supervision, with a greater focus on the administrative function -oversight and accountability at the cost of reflection and professional growth (Hair, 2013;Wilkins et al., 2017). ...
Article
Researchers have documented diminishing staff supervision in health care settings, while noting the complexity and dynamic nature of health care systems. A secondary data analysis of a survey of the Ontario Association of Social Workers (N=666) explored the contemporary receipt of different types of supervision in frontline health care. Most social worker participants were involved in supervision, receiving administrative and supportive supervision. Only 52% engaged in clinical supervision, even though most spent over 50% of work time with clients with complex needs. Factors related to the receipt of clinical supervision included setting, experience, gender, and availability of clinical practice leaders.
... Supervision is valuable for the usefulness of the transferable skills it imparts. Good, effective and quality supervision brings positive effects on employees and creates access to a clear pathway of support (Egan et al. 2018). It provides employees with confidence in prioritizing and managing workloads, engagement with the job and the notion that their career practices are improved (Manthorpe et al., 2015). ...
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Purpose This study explicitly examines how Hofstede's cultural dimensions moderate the relationship between nonmonetary motivation factors and performance. Design/methodology/approach Through the simple random sampling technique, the hypotheses were tested with a sample of 604 employees from a mobile telecommunication company operating in both China and Ghana, two countries that represent two same and opposite cultural poles on Hofstede's cultural dimensions. Findings The results point that employee motives such as relationship, supervision, challenging work and achievement are moderated by cultural values. Whilst employees with high power distance cultural values are highly motivated by high supervision, those with low individualistic cultural values are highly motivated by high relationship. The results also depict that whilst the interaction effects between supervision and power distance and relationship and individualism on performance were marginal for both China and Ghana samples, the interaction effect of achievement and masculinity as well as challenging work and uncertainty avoidance on performance had great differences due to the different cultural values for the two countries. Practical implications This study implies that, as organizations are devising strategies to lower personnel costs in a recessionary period, there is the need to redesign motivation factors that go beyond monetary means and based on the cultural background of an employee in order to improve performance. Originality/value This is one of the few studies that focused on nonmonetary motives from a cultural management perspective with samples from emerging economies.
... The most frequently reported content area was Check-Ins, intended as an opportunity to enhance the supervisory relationship and collaboratively set session agendas. A supervisory review of work occurred in half of the sessions reported, providing greater insight into actual work than that gained through the practitioner reports typical within supervision in community settings (Egan et al., 2018). Half of the supervisors implemented the use of skill practice (i.e., behavioral rehearsal) in sessions, whereas for others this was minimal or non-existent. ...
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Contributing to the understanding of supervision within evidence-based interventions (EBIs), this paper presents a feasibility study implementing a workplace-based clinical supervision model within Canadian community-based agencies delivering the SNAP (Stop Now and Plan) EBIs for children with disruptive behaviors. Partial demand for implementing the model was demonstrated, as was acceptability and implementation by six sites (n = 6 supervisors, n = 21 practitioners), with challenges to practicality using existing resources. Proof of concept of the model for enhancing practitioner competence contributed to the determination of value in further researching the model and its impact on the SNAP EBIs.
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English While the global movement of skilled labour is widely documented, there has been little analysis of its significance for UK social work, or for the sending countries involved. The ethical implications of UK reliance on overseas trained practitioners are considered, including a Code of Good Practice for ethical recruitment in social work. French Tandis que les mouvements mondiaux de la main-doeuvre qualifiée sont amplement documentés, très peu de recherches ont été menées sur l'impact de ces mouvements sur le travail social national ou encore sur les pays d'où exode cette main-d'oeuvre. Dans cette recherche, nous examinons les implications éthiques de la dépendance du Royaume-Uni à l'égard des praticiens formés outre-mer et nous proposons un Code de bonne conduite pour le recrutement éthique des ressources en travail social. Spanish Mientras que el movimiento global de las destrezas laborales se encuentra ampliamente documentado, ha habido escaso análisis sobre la importancia que este tiene para el trabajo social nacional o para los países remitentes involucrados. Consideramos las implicaciones éticas de la dependencia del Reino Unido de los practicantes entrenados en el extranjero y sugerimos un Código de Buena Práctica para un reclutamiento ético en trabajo social.
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This national survey examined the job satisfaction of 228 home health social workers in the restrictive reimbursement environment of the Medicare interim payment system. Administrators' helpfulness in resolving ethical conflicts between patient access to services and agency financial priorities contributed significantly to greater satisfaction in regression analysis. Supervisors' helpfulness in resolving the conflict moderated the difficulty of resolving the conflict. The frequency with which workers believed they had to compromise professional ethics contributed significantly to less satisfaction. Implications for practitioners, supervisors, administrators, and educators are discussed.
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In this article, aspects of postmodern supervision are explored that highlight the blurring of boundaries that occurs between the multiple roles performed by supervisors. An approach to supervision is detailed that shows how a supervisor who navigates between roles can assist supervisees in constructing identities congruent with the stories they tell about themselves as successful therapists. Six of the many possible roles that supervisors play are illustrated through dialogue taken from a group supervision session. In the last part of this article, concepts that inform a postmodern approach to supervision, borrowed from the literature on narrative and constructionist therapy, are discussed.
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