Reform board demands minimum 90 minutes’ supervision

Social workers should receive at least 90 minutes of regular, uninterrupted supervision as part of the first national framework for social work employee standards.

In its one-year progress report, the Social Work Reform Board said the standards for employers would be supported by a supervision framework. However, it emphasised that the report was a first draft which may alter after Professor Eileen Munro’s review on child protection procedures in England.

The framework stipulates that employers should “ensure that supervision sessions last at least an hour and a half of uninterrupted time”. These would be weekly for the first six weeks of employment for a newly qualified social worker, fortnightly for the next six months, and at least monthly after that.

All social workers should be supervised by another registered social worker, including those whose line managers are not social workers. They should also be encouraged to learn from current cases and draw on the experiences of peers.

In addition, the reform board wants employers to allow professionals to become engaged with the College of Social Work so that they can raise concerns about resources, workload issues or their own skills without fear of recrimination.

Employers will also be expected to have in place transparent systems to allocate work, a means of collecting information about workload within teams and contingency plans if workload exceeds staffing capacity.

Social workers should be given practical tools such as effective case recording IT systems, access to the internet and mobile phones and a safe means of transport for visiting service users. They should also have access to legal advisers, translators and interpreters.

You can express your views on the proposals within this report by emailing the Social Work Reform Board, contributing to national and regional meetings, workshops and conferences, details of which will be posted on the Social Work Reform Board website, or sending comments to your representative organisations and asking them to submit them to the reform board.

Read our special report on what the Social Work Reform Board proposals means for the profession’s future. Includes podcast with reform board chair Moira Gibb.

What do you think? Join the debate on the reform board report on CareSpace 

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