Systemic supervision in statutory social work in the UK: systemic rucksacks and bells that ring

Dugmore, Paul, Partridge, Karen, Sethi, Indeep and Krupa-Flasinska, Monika (2018) Systemic supervision in statutory social work in the UK: systemic rucksacks and bells that ring. European Journal of Social Work, 21 (3). pp. 400-414. ISSN Print ISSN: 1369-1457 ; Online ISSN: 1468-2664

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This paper provides a perspective on contemporary supervision outlining an innovative model of live systemic supervision implemented across a local authority children’s social work service. Following the Reclaiming Social Work model and the Munro Review of Child Protection, systemic approaches have become popular in English statutory social work. This intervention is distinct in that its focus was on developing and embedding systemic supervision through live mentoring. This approach enables different theoretical perspectives to sit alongside each other and inform practice. The paper explores four constructions of supervision as organisational development, as practice-based research, as ‘training to transgress’ and as adult learning. Using Proctor’s model, which allocates roles, a structure and a reflecting process within team supervision, the programme sought to embed change through the supervision and live mentoring of supervisors. The programme aimed to promote team resilience, reflexivity and relationship-based practice alongside a robust stance on risk. The paper describes the model of supervision and its application before discussing the issues raised in its implementation. We consider its relevance in other settings across professional boundaries.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Social Care, Reclaiming Social Work, Supervision, Systemic Practice, Systemic Supervision
Subjects: Couple & Family Therapies > Systemic Family Therapy
Social Welfare > Social Work
Psychological Therapies, Psychiatry, Counselling > Systemic Psychotherapy
Department/People: Children, Young Adult and Family Services

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