Supervision and Social Work

In advance of an the SWSCmedia chat on supervision (15/11/2011 – 8pm GMT), I thought I’d share some thoughts of my own experiences of supervising and of being supervised.

I’m not a manager but I am a Practice Educator so my experience of supervising is around supervising students rather than other practitioners and I have different needs and requirements both of the supervision I give and the supervision I receive but I’m also acutely aware of the reality of supervision structures in busy statutory services.

According to, to supervise is to oversee (a process, work, workers, etc.) during execution or performance; superintend; have the oversight and direction of.

We sometimes can become beholden to the ‘fluffier’ sides of supervision as professional growth and nurturing but ultimately, it is a management function and that is crucial to remember at all times. It is important that there is a two-way flow of information but forgetting that ultimately it is a way that we are held professionally accountable for our actions is the underlying motive and purpose of being supervised.

Fpr me, the key is that supervision determines accountability.
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Leadership and Management in Social Care – Some thoughts

The interplay between management and leadership is one that has been milling around in my mind for a while but in the light of the next ‘Twitter Debate’ by SWSCmedia on 1st November (8pm GMT) and the opinion piece written on that same site about Leadership in Social Work I thought it would be a good opportunity to crystallise some of my thoughts on the topic as sometimes 140 characters just isn’t enough.

As an introduction, the piece above is fantastic. I will state very clearly that I am neither a manager nor a leader and am not desperately keen to identify myself as either.

I asked on Twitter for responses to the question about the differences between Management and Leadership in Social Care because I had been concerned that all too often the two have been intertwined in  unhelpful ways.

The responses tended along the lines of ‘Managers Do and Leaders See’.
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