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How is supervision recorded in child and family social work? An analysis of 244 written records of formal supervision

Wilkins, David 2017. How is supervision recorded in child and family social work? An analysis of 244 written records of formal supervision. Child & Family Social Work 22 (3) , pp. 1130-1140. 10.1111/cfs.12330

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Written records belie the complexity of social work practice. And yet, keeping good records is a key function for social workers in England (and elsewhere). Written records provide a future reference point for children, especially those in public care. They are foundational for the inspection of children's services. They provide practitioners and managers with an opportunity to record their thinking and decisions. They add to result from and cause much of the bureaucratic maze that practitioners have to navigate. As part of a wider study of child and family social work practice, this paper describes an analysis of more than 200 written records of supervision. These records primarily contain narrative descriptions of activity, often leading to a set of actions for the social worker to complete – what they should do next. Records of why these actions are necessary and how the social worker might undertake them are usually absent, as are records of analytical thinking or the child's views. This suggests that written records of supervision are not principally created in order to inform an understanding of the social work decision‐making process; rather, they are created to demonstrate management oversight of practice and the accountability of the practitioner. Citing Literature

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Publisher: Wiley
ISSN: 1356-7500
Funders: Department for Education
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 21 September 2018
Date of Acceptance: 9 September 2016
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2018 17:48

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