Social Work Supervision – An Exploration of the Current Challenges in a Rapidly Changing Social, Economic and Political Environment

Source: Carolyn Noble, Jude Irwin, Journal of Social Work, Vol. 9, No. 3, July 2009
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From the abstract:
• Summary: This article identifies important challenges facing social work supervision as a result of the social, political and economic changes that have characterized the last two decades in most Western countries. In response a re-positioning of the critical tradition in the scholarship and practice of social work has been proffered by several authors as a means of addressing and counteracting the more negative challenges facing social work emanating from these changes. We argue that this critical re-positioning can also be applied to similar challenges facing practice supervision.

• Findings: As the social work landscape has to contend with a more conservative and fiscally restrictive environment, so too has practice supervision become more focused on efficiency, accountability and worker performance often at the expense of professional and practice development. In addition, current research has identified a crisis in the probity of practice supervision where many practitioners cite disillusionment and despair, as well as lack of opportunity to stop and critically reflect on practice situations as another challenge in this changed climate.

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