‘It helps me understand how I should do things, not just what I need to do.’
‘We discuss how emotions are affecting my decision-making’
‘I’m prompted to think about theory and research in relation to my work.’
How often are the above statements true of your supervision? Or are you just grateful if you have something resembling a regular session?
Most research into social work supervision has focused on how often practitioners have such meetings. And that’s clearly important when surveys and anecdotal accounts indicate some social workers don’t get regular supervision at all.
But as David Wilkins writes, there is a surprisingly small evidence base for how or indeed whether supervision supports good practice. That’s why Wilkins is engaged in a number of research projects into supervision and its impact. As part of this, in conjunction with Community Care, he is surveying social workers to find out what their supervision provides them with and the kind of discussions that take place in meeting rooms across the country.
You can take part and help improve understanding of what actually happens in supervision and what makes it effective. Share your experience in the brief survey which asks you to consider statements like the ones at the start of the article in relation to your own supervision. It’s completely anonymous and there are no personal questions. The questionnaire takes around eight minutes to complete.
This research is being carried out by Dr David Wilkins (University of Bedfordshire). If you have any questions, you can contact David directly: firstname.lastname@example.org or @david82wilkins. The findings from this survey will be shared via Community Care and in other ways in due course.
David’s research is focused on children and family social workers. Community Care is also interested in the supervision experiences of social workers practising with adults. You can complete our survey here, or get in touch by email.