What Does the Literature Tell Us About Supervision?

  • Lynne McPhersonEmail author
  • Noel Macnamara
Part of the SpringerBriefs in Well-Being and Quality of Life Research book series (BRIEFSWELLBEING)


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!


Supervision Social work Child protection 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Arts and Social Sciences, Social WorkSouthern Cross UniversityGold CoastAustralia
  2. 2.Therapeutic Care ProgramAustralian Childhood FoundationMelbourneAustralia

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