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Evaluating the quality of social work supervision in UK children's services: comparing self-report and independent observations

Wilkins, David, Khan, Munira, Stabler, Lorna, Newlands, Fiona and Mcdonnell, John 2018. Evaluating the quality of social work supervision in UK children's services: comparing self-report and independent observations. Clinical Social Work Journal 46 (4) , pp. 350-360. 10.1007/s10615-018-0680-7

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Abstract

Understanding how different forms of supervision support good social work practice and improve outcomes for people who use services is nearly impossible without reliable and valid evaluative measures. Yet the question of how best to evaluate the quality of supervision in different contexts is a complicated and as-yet-unsolved challenge. In this study, we observed 12 social work supervisors in a simulated supervision session offering support and guidance to an actor playing the part of an inexperienced social worker facing a casework-related crisis. A team of researchers analyzed these sessions using a customized skills-based coding framework. In addition, 19 social workers completed a questionnaire about their supervision experiences as provided by the same 12 supervisors. According to the coding framework, the supervisors demonstrated relatively modest skill levels, and we found low correlations among different skills. In contrast, according to the questionnaire data, supervisors had relatively high skill levels, and we found high correlations among different skills. The findings imply that although self-report remains the simplest way to evaluate supervision quality, other approaches are possible and may provide a different perspective. However, developing a reliable independent measure of supervision quality remains a noteworthy challenge.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Publisher: Springer Verlag (Germany)
ISSN: 0091-1674
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 25 September 2018
Date of Acceptance: 16 September 2018
Last Modified: 29 Dec 2019 23:02
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/115191

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