1.1 Analyse the principles, scope and purpose of professional supervision
Supervision is likely to have a range of aims and objectives are:
■ To improve working practice in order to enhance the quality of service received by the Service User.
To improve communication.
To develop the potential of each member of staff.
To improve the competency of each individual staff member and throughout the whole organization.
To address workload management issues.
To provide focus on our commitment to the professional development of every member of staff and highlight the importance of the contribution made by every member of staff.
To facilitate the recognition of boundaries and the limitations of skill and competence.
To boost morale and confidence and encourage the emergence, growth and development of good ideas and practice.
To examine interventions, outcomes and consequences of those interventions and to explore other possible interventions.
To develop a greater degree of self-awareness, autonomy and self-esteem.
To assist staff to achieve their personal professional objectives.
To promote lifelong learning
To increase awareness of evidence based practice.
To promote good quality working environments where staff feel supported in their roles.
To monitor and support progress with regard to pre-agreed Continuing Professional Development objective
to provide a forum for staff to receive support, encouragement, praise and constructive feedback
to help staff gain an overview of his/her work and so acquire fresh insights into his/her practices
to support staff in their continuous professional development and to link in with the appraisal process
to assist staff to be effective in their day to day practice,
to provide staff with a forum to discuss the particular roles and responsibilities attached to their post
to enable staff to discuss issues of risk assessment, risk-taking and risk management in their practice
to provide a forum for staff to discuss any problems they may be experiencing in their day to day work
to assist staff to function in accordance with organisational and professional standards of practice and competence
to assist staff with the organisation and management of their workload
to provide Children’s Partnership and partner agencies, with a mechanism to ensure that an individual staff member is accountable for their practice
to ensure that staff practise in a manner that takes account of the diversity of the population we serve
Supervision in safeguarding children can take on a variety of forms. The principal recognised method is one-to-one supervision. However, it may be unrealistic to expect regular one-to-one supervision to meet all functions for all staff all of the time. It is therefore appropriate to use other methods of supervision including group supervision, team supervision, peer supervision, action learning and mentoring by a senior practitioner or the use of other expertise and skills.
Whatever the form of supervision, below are key principles which should apply and help ensure that the supervision is effective.
Four functions of supervision:
The model is designed to be a practical tool and identifies that supervision is a cyclical process with four key elements: experience, reflection, analysis and action. These elements support a supervisee to reflect on their experiences. Their thoughts and feelings are then explored and critically evaluated using knowledge and research to formulate ideas and plans.
The model recognises that supervision is a complex activity and its four functions – management, development, support and mediation – are interconnected within the reflective cycle. At the heart of the model is the acknowledgment that supervision is part of and crucial to our interaction with service users and other partners. Relationships are at the heart of the model (Wonnacott, 2012).
Management (ensuring that practice and performance is of a high standard)
• Share information
• Delegate and manage workload/team resources
• Support effective decision making and positive risk management
• Reflective work discussion
• Direct observation of practice
• Review and assess quality of recording
• Manage performance, conduct, leave and absence
• Support to maintain appropriate professional boundaries
• Appraisal (VR goals and behaviours)
• Adherence to policies, procedures and protocols
Development (supporting ongoing development of practitioner skill and knowledge)
• Consider learning styles and barriers to learning
• Explore, identify and evaluate learning and development needs
• Support career development, continual professional development (CPD) and, if appropriate, maintenance of professional registration
• Support critical thinking and reflective practice
• Give and receive constructive feedback
• Consider theory and research
support (a secure and reflective relationship)
• Establish environment of dignity and respect
• Clear boundaries between support and counselling (signpost if necessary)
• Monitor health and well-being and ensure support/reasonable adjustments are in place if needed
• Support supervisee to maintain resilience in role
• Deal with issues that need further investigation, e.g. safeguarding, bullying
mediation (helping to connect practitioners experiences of practice, organisational life and the wider political or structural system within which social work is provided).
• Support integration and joint working with internal and external partners
• Develop practice based on feedback from partners
• Enable understanding of roles and responsibilities within this remit
Good practice in supervision Effective
Staff supervision is commonly characterised by the following features. Settings may wish to consider these as supervision standards and include them in a staff supervision agreement
Confidentiality Issues of trust need to be thoroughly explored and the importance of confidentiality emphasized. Supervision should include a joint commitment to openness and clarity about what may be treated as confidential by both parties (or a supervision group) Any matters discussed in a supervision meeting can be treated as confidential when it is agreed that it is unnecessary to discuss them elsewhere. However, openness requires all parties to be sensitive to those occasions when difficult issues will have to be discussed elsewhere, and to be transparent about when and why this will be necessary and how it will be done.
Commitment to preparation for supervision by both supervisor and supervisee, including a review of previous actions and consideration of points for discussion. The structure of the agenda can be jointly agreed by both parties at the beginning of each meeting, allowing prioritisation of topics and flexibility to reflect current needs. Topics for discussion may include:
What will Ofsted expect to be in place?
Ofsted will expect each setting to have a Supervision policy. Through interviews and discussion with staff, Ofsted will wish to discuss procedures in place to ensure that high quality supervision is provided and has an impact on practice. As cited in the Ofsted Evaluation Schedule for the Inspection of Children’s Centres, inspectors should consider ‘the extent to which adults feel safe, employ safe working practices and have the knowledge and understanding to enable them to take responsibility for their own safety and well-being.’(p13) The Ofsted Evaluation Schedule for Inspections of Registered Early Years Provision cites, ‘High-quality professional supervision, based on consistently and sharply focused evaluations of the impact of staff’s practice’ as a feature of ‘outstanding’ leadership and management.
Supervision is a process whereby entails preparation, open discussion and the implementation of decisions. Both supervisors and staff members have a responsibility to contribute positively to this process.
1.2 Outline theories and models of professional supervision
Ultimately, clinical supervision is a process of individualized learning for supervisees working with clients. The systematic manner in which this individualized learning or supervision is applied is usually contained and presented in the form of a “model.” Knowledge of supervision models is considered fundamental to ethical supervision practice. There are three primary models of supervision that are presented below. These are: (1) developmental models, (2) integrated models, and (3) orientation-specific models.
The underlying premise of developmental models of supervision is the notion that individuals are continuously growing. In combining our experience with hereditary predispositions we develop strengths and growth areas. The objective of supervision from this perspective is to maximize and identify growth needed for the future. Thus, it is typical to be continuously identifying new areas of growth in a life-long learning process as a clinical practitioner.
Studies revealed that behaviour of supervisors changed as supervisees gained experience, and the supervisory relationship also changed. There appeared to be a scientific basis for developmental trends and patterns in supervision. In general, the developmental model of supervision defines progressive stages of supervisee development from beginner to expert, with each stage consisting of discrete characteristics and skills.
For example, supervisees at the beginner stage would be expected to have limited skills and lack confidence as counsellors, while middle stage supervisees might have more skill and confidence and have conflicting feelings about perceived independence/dependence on the supervisor. A supervisee at the expert end of the developmental spectrum is likely to utilize good problem-solving skills and be deeply reflective and intuitive about the counselling and supervisory process (Haynes, Corey, & Moulton, 2003, Jones, 2008).
Developmental supervision is based on the following two assumptions:
Focus on skill acquisition.
Very high motivation and high anxiety.
Increased complexity of cases exposed to can result in shaken confidence.
Doubts are still present but not disabling.
Has confidence in their capacity to learn, thus is developing a lifelong motivation to ongoing professional development
Professional identity becomes important.
Needs high structure with minimal challenge.
Dependent on supervisor.
Can be quite assertive and begin to follow his/her own agenda.
Functions more independently and may only want requested specific help. Other times can be evasive and dependent.
Is clearer about when to actively seek supervision and consultation.
Knows his or her limitations.
Very high self focus with high anxiety about grades and strengths.
Finds it difficult to pick up subtle nuances of the psychotherapeutic environment.
Unable to distinguish between the more pertinent and the less relevant factors in the therapeutic process, the client and themselves.
Focus is now more on the client.
Greater understanding of client’s issues and worldview becomes evident.
Can start to pick up on key factors in the psychotherapeutic process with a sense of knowing in a general sense what to focus on and what is irrelevant.
May be enmeshed or confused and lose effectiveness.
Balance is an issue.
Accepts own strengths and weaknesses.
Has high empathy and understanding.
An increasing awareness of the most pertinent things to focuses on within the client, the psychotherapeutic process and them selves
Is far less sidetracked by the irrelevant.
Uses themselves as a therapeutic tool in sessions.
Because up to 75% of psychotherapists view themselves as “eclectic”, integrating several theories into a consistent practice, some models of supervision have been designed to employ a multiple therapeutic orientation while others aim to be used across any theoretical orientation. For example, Bernard’s Discrimination Model purports to be “a-theoretical” (Bernard & Goodyear, 1992).
The Discrimination model was originally developed as a conceptual framework to assist new supervisors in organizing their supervisory efforts. The Discrimination model provides a tangible structure for the supervisor to use in selecting a focus for supervision and in determining the most effective way to deliver particular supervision interventions (Luke & Bernard, 2006).
Specifically, the Discrimination Model combines three supervisory roles of teacher, counsellor and consultant with three key areas of process, conceptualization and personalization. For example, supervisors might take on the role of “teacher” when they directly lecture, instruct, and inform the supervisee. They might then act as counsellors when assisting supervisees through blind spots, countertransference, vicarious reactions and other personal issues related to the psychotherapeutic process.
When supervisors relate as colleagues during supervision they might act in a “consultancy” role. This model also emphasizes the care supervisors must take towards an unethical reliance on dual relationships. For example, the purpose of adopting a “counsellor” role in supervision is to identify unresolved issues of a personal nature that may cloud the supervisee’s judgements in their therapeutic relationship. However, if these issues require ongoing counselling, supervisees should be referred on to another therapist rather than work on those personal issues with their supervisor.
The Discrimination Model also highlights three areas of focus the supervisor should have with the supervisee to promote effective skill building: therapeutic process, case conceptualization, and personalization. Process issues are the first area of focus that aims to examine the process of supervision as well as the process adopted by the supervisee in their practice.
For example: Is the supervisee reflecting the client’s emotion? Did the supervisee reframe the situation? Could the use of paradox help the client be less resistant? Conceptualization issues include how well supervisees conceptualize their case in the context of relevant theory and the presenting issues and problems of the client. It examines how well the supervisee can move from the bigger picture of the case to specific issues in the therapeutic process with the client. Such things clarify reasons supervisees have for the approach taken and skills applied with the client and the approaches and skills they may apply in the future.
Personalization issues pertain to the supervisee’s use of themselves in therapy to ensure all involved are congruent, open and present in the relationship. For example, usual body language might be intimidating to some clients, or a supervisee might not notice the client is physically attracted to them. Ultimately, the Discrimination Model is primarily a training model. It assumes that each of us will have habits of attending to one supervisory role over another and to focus on one area of supervisory practice over another. Thus it encourages a broader focus of approach from the supervisor than what they might otherwise apply naturally.
Orientation Specific Models
Counsellors who adopt a particular brand of therapy (e.g. Adlerian, solution-focused, behavioral, etc.) often believe that the best “supervision” is the analysis of practice for true adherence to the therapy. Systemic therapists argue that supervision should be therapy-based and theoretically consistent.
One advantage of the psychotherapy-based supervision model is found in the context of the supervisee and supervisor sharing the same theoretical orientation, thus allowing modelling to be maximized as the supervisor teaches the supervisee on the specific theory and how it is integrated in to the practice skills specifically (Bernard and Goodyear, 1992). Issues can arise between the supervisor and supervisee in the context of an orientation specific approach to supervision particularly if they do not share the same theoretical orientation.
Psychoanalytic: Psychoanalytic supervision is by far the oldest form of psychotherapeutic supervision. This is because from its inception, psychoanalysis has addressed the concept of supervision. A psychoanalytic orientation to supervision encourages the supervisee to be open to the experience of supervision that aims to mirror therapy whereby the supervisee learns from the supervisor the analytic attitude that includes such attributes as patience, trust in the process, interest in the client, and respect for the power and tenacity of client resistance.
An assumption of the psychoanalytic supervision model is that the most effective way a supervisee can learn these qualities is for them to experience these qualities from their supervisor in the supervisory relationship. Ekstein and Wallerstein (cited in Leddick & Bernard, 1980) described psychoanalytic supervision as occurring in four stages; the opening stage, the mid-stage, the working stage and the last stage. During the opening stage, the supervisee and supervisor size each other up for signs of expertise and weakness. This leads to each person attributing a degree of influence or authority to the other.
The mid-stage is characterized by conflict, defensiveness, avoiding, or attacking. Resolution of the mid-stage issues leads to a “working” stage for supervision. The last stage is characterized by a more silent supervisor encouraging supervisees in their tendency toward independence.
Behavioral: Behavioral supervision views client problems as learning problems. Therefore, supervision applies a process that requires two skills. These skills are: 1) being able to identify the problem, and (2) being able to select the appropriate learning techniques to train the client in how to deal with the problem (Leddick & Bernard, 1980).
Supervisees are encouraged to participate as co-therapists with the supervisor to maximize modelling and to increase the proximity of reinforcement when gaining clarity on what the problem is for the client and what are the most appropriate learning techniques to apply when teaching the client how to deal with the problem. Supervisees are often encouraged to engage in behavioral rehearsal prior to working with clients.
Interestingly, Carl Rogers (cited in Leddick & Bernard, 1980) drew from behavioral principles when outlining a program of graduated experiences for supervision in client-cantered therapy. While group therapy and a practicum was at the core of the supervisees experiences, the most important aspect of supervision Roger’s suggested was in the supervisors modelling of the necessary and sufficient conditions of empathy, genuineness, and unconditional positive regard.
Client Centered: Carl Rogers was concerned with the concept of supervision for trainee counsellors, as he observed from early recordings of therapy sessions that the usual forms of learning were not effective in teaching student counsellors the non-directive approach of person centered therapy. Supervisors soon became aware of this.
The client centered therapeutic approach rests on the fundamental belief in a phenomenological healing process activated by the core conditions or the therapeutic relationship. Thus the issue of giving advice or instruction becomes unessential. Therefore, client centered supervision is about stepping into the experience of the supervisee who chooses to be influenced by the supervisory relationship.
The successful client centered supervisor must therefore have a profound trust in the supervisee, believing they have both the ability and motivation to grow and explore the therapy and themselves. This trust given to the supervisee must mirror the trust that the supervisee should have with their clients or where they are then encouraged by the experience to do likewise. One challenge that can occur with pure client centered supervision is when the supervisee does not genuinely believe the client has the ability to move toward self-actualization.
Cognitive Behavioral: Cognitive-behavioral supervision, proceeds on the assumption that both adaptive and maladaptive behaviors are learned and maintained through their consequences. As a result, supervision from a CBT orientation will be more systematic in approach to supervision goals and processes than some of the other supervisory perspectives. It consists of building rapport, skill analysis and assessment of the supervisee, setting goals (for the supervisee), and implementation of strategies, follow-up and evaluation.
CBT supervisors accept part of the responsibility for supervisee learning, but define the potential of the supervisee in the context of their ability to learn, and therefore supervision is concerned with the extent to which the supervisee is able to demonstrate technical competency.
Micro skill focused: Most supervisees require instruction in the many counselling strategies at some point in their supervision. During these instances the supervisor will most likely use the four steps of micro-training: 1) teach one skill at a time, 2) present the skill using modelling or demonstration, 3) practice the skill; 4) allow for mastery using ongoing practice and feedback.
1.3 Explain how the requirements of legislation, codes of practice and agreed ways of working
Appraisals and supervisions are an important part in ensuring positive outcomes for children and young people in a variety of quality settings. It is crucial for Early Years settings to have a supervision and appraisal policy and process. The Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) requires that early years practitioners are engaged in a cycle of supervision. “Providers must put appropriate arrangements in place for the supervision of staff that has contact with children and families’ (HM Government 2017). The manager needs to ensure that there is a framework of supervision and appraisal so that staff are kept up to date with relevant information and given the opportunity to evaluate and reflect. “Supervision is essential to help practitioners to cope with the emotional demands of work with children and their families which has an impact at all levels of intervention” (DCSF:2008). A regular one to one staff supervision structure needs to be put in place as they help with the development, retention and motivation of the staff. There needs to be clear questions to highlight knowledge and understanding; giving the practitioner, the time to be able to reflect on practice and give them the opportunity to share any concerns or training needs they might have. Supervisions are held regularly have a positive impact on practice and lead to improved performance and outcomes.
1.4 Explain how findings from research, critical reviews and inquiries can be used within professional supervision
Morrison (2003) proposes that the purpose of supervision is to enhance the social worker’s professional skills, knowledge, and attitudes in order to achieve competency in providing quality care. It aids in professional growth and development and improves outcomes. He states: ‘The overall aim of supervision is to promote best practice for clients by maintaining existing good practice and continuously striving to improve it’ (ibid: 46)
Professional supervision can make a major contribution to the way organisations ensure the achievement of high quality provision. Supervision meetings are part of the constant monitoring process that happens in settings on a daily basis in a variety of forms. The requirement for individual supervision meetings has been informed by serious case reviews, such as the Plymouth Serious Case Review and research into the impact of staff qualifications and knowledge on children’s development and progress. Following a recommendation from the Serious Case Review and the review into the EYFS 2008 by Dame Clare Tickell, staff supervision is now mandatory in all early years settings (EYFS 2012). They are supported by the will to promote good practice in supporting staff to identify professional development needs and the desire for development feedback. Supervisions are an important element in ensuring positive outcomes for children and young people in a quality setting. Research suggests that good supervisions have a vital role to play in the development of staff, are associated with job satisfaction, commitment, motivation and retention of the staff.
Good quality supervision incorporates learning and support functions. Giving and receiving positive and also critical constructive feedback can create an atmosphere of learning, self-improvement and strong sense of security whilst contributing to organizational objectives (Hafford-Letchfield et al, 2008). Kadushin (2002) highlights the need for supervising managers to have a good professional knowledge of the field as well as skills in coordinating work, setting limits and manageable goals, monitoring progress for front-line workers and creating a climate of belief and trust. Bogo and McKnight (2005) found that professionals valued the learning aspects of supervisory practice, including the supervisors’ practical knowledge of theory and interventions for social work, the importance of practice knowledge and the ability to ‘be on the same page’ about what realistically can be expected to be achieved. The ‘softer’ aspects of supervision are seen as important by supervisees, such as qualities in the supervisor that enable support for the professional and which recognize and encourage professional growth and development; supervisees also value appropriate delegation, and looked to their supervisors as role models and for mutual and interactive communication (Bogo and McKnight 2005).
The supervisor’s own support and professional development is important if they are to tackle difficult practice and organizational issues and find potential solutions to complex problems. Further work is required to improve management
Practitioners need to be up to date with research and changes in the early years .As the early years and childcare sector changes, it becomes even more important for those working in the field to keep abreast of current thinking and new developments in practice, research and policy that will affect their work.
As a manager of a setting you will need to build in time to inform yourself and your staff of changes to policy, legislation and new developments in practice. To continue your professional development by being aware of new information in practice and how your work will be affected by the new vision for children’s services. To keep abreast of new research on what works for children as part of effective everyday practice.
Some practitioners will feel that they are doing a good job and striving to find new ways of working to achieve quality experiences for young children. Others may feel that they are stuck with the same work patterns with no opportunity to change practice or reflect on what is going on in their own setting or elsewhere.Changes to Ofsted inspection protocol are going to be relevant to all providers. Or perhaps news of new initiatives on listening to young children may interest you and help you develop your practice, such as Listening as a way of life published by the National Children’s Bureau
Continuing professional development is a planned, ongoing development of knowledge and skills throughout one’s working life to motivate and develop good practice and quality services.
Continuing professional development is important because it ensures you continue to be competent in your profession. Aside from learning about something new, there are many reasons to undertake CPD. CPD can give you new knowledge that may help you to deal with new or complex situations; it can help you achieve your career goals by focusing on learning and development, will give you confidence in your role and demonstrates your commitment to developing your skills and knowledge. CPD will also keep you motivated and up-to-date with best practice. The CPD of practitioners beyond their induction and initial training/qualifications is an area of crucial importance for organisations, their staff, for children, young people and their families for the following reasons: • enable staff to keep knowledge of the sector up-to-date • develop a qualified and bilingual workforce • continue to improve standards • value practitioners by furthering and sustaining their competence and skills • improve recruitment and retention of practitioners • ensure the sector meet relevant requirements • increase knowledge, experience, understanding, improve performance and contribute to lifelong learning