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Strengthening Supervision in Systems of Care: Exemplary Practices in Empirically Supported Treatments


The last few decades have witnessed major growth in the evidence base on effective client interventions used by social workers and other health and social service professionals. As the pressure for service agencies to offer empirically supported treatments has been increasing, financial and time constraints have driven a decline in the frequency and amount of supervision provided within many of these organizations. While the reduction in staff supervision presents a challenge for effective implementation of all treatments, there are comprehensive empirically supported treatment models for clients that serve as exemplars of supervisory practice through their explicit requirements, processes and tools for supervision and supervisor development. After a review of the current status of supervision nationally, an implementation science-based approach is described, which builds organizational support for supervision and promotes optimal supervisory practice through training and consultation of supervisors and supervisees. The elements of this comprehensive approach, developed by the Yale Program on Supervision, are detailed. Supervisory policies, practices, and tools created by the developers of empirically supported treatments and similarly grounded in the principles of implementation science are offered as further examples of strategies for ensuring effective supervision.

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Correspondence to Scott Migdole.

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Hoge, M.A., Migdole, S., Cannata, E. et al. Strengthening Supervision in Systems of Care: Exemplary Practices in Empirically Supported Treatments. Clin Soc Work J 42, 171–181 (2014).

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  • Supervision
  • Empirically supported treatment
  • Staff development
  • Organizational change