February 2011 – Research on supervision in social work, with particular reference to supervision practice in multi disciplinary teams

The job of a social worker is a challenging one which takes place in a complex adaptive environment where the role of professional judgement is paramount. Social workers need to be confident, articulate, and professional with highly developed listening, oral and written skills. They also need stamina, emotional resilience and determination. Research and practice demonstrate that social workers will be more effective if they receive good quality supervision, both on a one to one basis from a manager and also from peer supervision in teams and via networks.

This document is designed to develop a BASW policy on supervision. It has been based on research into the history of supervision, information about current practice and the views and experiences of members. A draft Code of Practice is detailed. (Section 13).

Research of the experience of supervision from BASW/CoSW members found that many social workers receive good supervision, however a significant number do not. (These finding are in line with those of other surveys and research). There have also been particular concerns raised by social workers who work in multi disciplinary teams. Their concerns express a lack of, or insufficiency of supervision, poor quality supervision and in some cases a lack of supervision given by qualified experienced social workers.

Published : 28th February 2011*

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* Although BASW has prepared the information contained within Social Work Knowledge with all due care and updates the information regularly, BASW does not warrant or represent that the information is free from errors or omission. Whilst the information is considered to be true and correct at the date of publication, changes in circumstances after the time of publication may impact on the accuracy of the information. The information may change without notice and BASW is not in any way liable for the accuracy of any information printed and stored or in any way interpreted and used by a user.