What Does the Literature Tell Us About Supervision?
Here we look at definitions of supervision and the way in which it has been conceptualised across the helping professions, in social work and in child protection. A critique of the context within which contemporary supervision takes place follows and will enable readers to locate their workplace issues within contemporary paradigms. Four key themes emerging from the supervision literature are discussed: supervisor competencies; supervision responding to stress, anxiety and vicarious trauma; supervision and client outcomes; and supervision and staff retention. A case will be established that that there is an association between “effective supervision” and staff resilience and retention in child and family practice—but that there is very limited evidence, according to the research to date, as to what “effective supervision” is!
KeywordsSupervision Social work Child protection
- Carroll, M., & Tholstrup, M. (Eds.). (2001). Integrative approaches to supervision. Philadelphia: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.Google Scholar
- Davys, A., & Beddoe, L. (2010). Best practice in supervision: A guide for the helping professions. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.Google Scholar
- Dickenson, N., & Painter, J. (2009). Predictors of undesired turnover for child welfare workers. Child Welfare, 88(5), 187–208.Google Scholar
- Ferguson, K. (2005). Professional supervision. In M. Rose & D. Best (Eds.), Transforming practice through clinical education, professional supervision and mentoring. Edinburgh: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone.Google Scholar
- Harkness, D., & Hensley, H. (1991). Changing the focus of social work supervision: Effects on client satisfaction and generalized contentment. Social Work, 36(6), 506–512.Google Scholar
- Hawkins, P., & Shohet, R. (2000). Supervision in the helping professions (2nd ed.). Buckingham: Open University Press.Google Scholar
- Hughes, L., & Pengelly, P. (1997). Staff supervision in a turbulent environment: Managing process and task in front-line services. Jessica Kingsley, UK.Google Scholar
- Kadushin, A. (1976). Supervision in social work. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
- Mor Barack, M., Travis, D., Pyun, H., & Xie, B. (2009). The impact of supervision on worker outcomes: A meta-analysis. Social Services Review, 83(1), 3–32.Google Scholar
- Morrison, T. (2005). Staff supervision in social care: Making a real difference for service users (2nd ed.). Brighton, UK: Pavilion Publishing.Google Scholar
- Nissly, J. A., Mor Barack, M., & Levin, A. (2005). Stress, support and workers’ intentions to leave their jobs in public welfare. Administration in Social Work, 29(1), 79–100.Google Scholar
- Richards, M., Payne, C., & Shepperd, A. (1990). Staff supervision in child protection work. London: National Institute for Social Work.Google Scholar
- Rothschild, B. (2006). Help for the helper. New York, NY: Norton.Google Scholar
- Ryan, S. (2008). Mindful supervision. In R. Shohet (Ed.), Passionate supervision. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.Google Scholar
- Siegal, D. (2012). The developing mind. New York, NY: Guildford Press.Google Scholar
- Stanley, J., & Goddard, C. (2002). In the firing line: Violence and power in child protection work. Chichester, UK: John Wiley.Google Scholar
- Van der Kolk, B. (2005). Developmental trauma disorder. Psychiatric Annals, 35(5), 401–408.Google Scholar
- Zlotnik, J., De Panfilis, D., McDermott Lane, M., Daining, C., Summers, L., & Wechsler, J. (2005). Factors influencing retention of child welfare staff: A systematic review of research. Washington, DC: Institute for the Advancement of Social Work Research. http://www.socialworkpolicy.org/wp-content/uploads/2007/06/5-CW-SRR-FinalExecSummary.pdf. Accessed 25 Jan 2010.