Supervision and support - what can I expect?
“… We need to foster resilience by providing front line staff with the scaffolding they need to get out there, work with the most vulnerable members of our society with the emotional intelligence and compassion that will make a difference. Relationships are at the heart of good social work practice and relationships must be at the heart of the way we supervise and manage as well.” Wonnacott, 2013
Supervision is not an add on – in Cornwall, it is seen as part of the intervention with people who use our services. It can be broken down into four different functions:
- Competent, accountable performance/practice (management function)
The management function is about what you do and how you do it, it enables your manager to be aware of your work and you to recognise and have responsibility for your own practice.
- Continuing professional development (development function)
The development function is about understanding how what you learn makes a difference. It is about your learning & development, career progression and links to your PDS.
- Personal support (support function)
The support function is about your wellbeing - when we are in a better place, we are more able to help others.
- Engaging the individual with the organisation (mediation function)
The mediation function is about making the connection between the person and the organisation. If you know about the organisation, are linked to it and have a sense of belonging, you do better. It is a chance to pass information up and down the structure.
- Supervision should:
- Help to ensure that practice is evidence based, consistent with OSCP and organisational procedures and that all practitioners fully understand their roles, responsibilities and the scope of their professional discretion and authority
- Be regular and at the expected frequency
- Be recorded, showing your working out, how you got to where you did in your reasoning or analysis and actions or plans.
Case Reviews talk about 'start again syndrome' – if the rationale and decision-making process hasn’t been recorded showing the workings out and why things are as they are, then it is much more likely that 'start again' and 'revolving door' syndrome will happen and that doesn’t keep children safe.The record is seen as a dynamic and working document and used in subsequent supervision sessions to ensure continuity.
For more information about what this record should contain click here.
Resources and Tools for Practice Supervisors: for information on useful supervision resources, please follow this Resources and Tools for Practice Supervisors