Implementing the Supervision Framework for the Social Work Profession: Supervisors’ Views and Experiences
Keywords:social work, supervision, framework, systems theory, social work supervisors’ experience
This study focused on social work supervision and its impact on the occupational development and service delivery of supervisees, specifically within the South African Department of Social Development (DSD). While previous research has often examined the views and experiences of supervisees and student social workers, the study uniquely explored the perspective of social work supervisors. Utilising the systems theory as a theoretical framework, qualitative research with semi-structured interviews and thematic analysis was employed. The findings revealed significant structural challenges that hindered the alignment of social work supervision with the DSD’s established Supervision Framework. As the scope of the study was limited to the Mahikeng Service Point, North West, South Africa, generalisation is cautioned, necessitating further research in other welfare organisations for a broader understanding.
Austin, D. M. 2005. New Human Services Management: Organizational Leadership in Social Work Practice. New York: Columbia University Press.
Baloyi, T. 2018. “Experiences of Social Work Supervisors on Supervising Inexperienced Social Workers in the Department of Social Development Malamulele Area Office.” PhD diss., University of Limpopo, Polokwane.
Bara, M. B. 2022. “Supervision in Social Work.” Accessed May 6, 2023. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/366333561_SUPERVISION_IN_SOCIAL_WORK
Barak, M. M., D. J. Travis, and B. Xie. 2009. “The Impact of Supervision on Worker Outcomes: A Meta-analysis.” Social Service Review 83 (1): 3–38. https://doi.org/10.1086/599028 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1086/599028
Bernard, J., and R. Goodyear. 2002. Fundamentals of Clinical Supervision. Boston: Pearson Education.
Botha, N. 2002. Supervision and Consultation in Social Work. Bloemfontein: Druforma.
Braun, V., and V. Clarke. 2012. “Thematic Analysis.” In APA Handbook of Research Methods in Psychology, edited by H. Cooper, P. Camic, D. L. Long, A. T. Panter, D. Rindskopf, and K. J. Sher, 57–71. Washington: American Psychological Association.
Brown, A., and I. Bourne. 1996. The Social Work Supervisor. Buckingham: Open University Press.
Connell, R., B. Fawcett, and G. Meagher. 2009. “Neoliberalism, New Public Management, and the Human Service Professions: Introduction to the Special Issue.” Journal of Sociology 45 (4): 331–338. https://doi.org/10.1177/1440783309346472 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/1440783309346472
Davys, M. A., and L. Beddoe. 2009. “The Reflective Learning Model: Supervision of Social Work Students.” Social Work Education 28: 919–933. https://doi.org/10.1080/02615470902748662I DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/02615470902748662
Deonarain, P. P. 2012. “The Nature of Social Work Supervision in the Sedibeng Region.” MA diss., University of Johannesburg.
Dhemba, J. 2012. “Fieldwork in Social Work Education and Training: Issues and Challenges in the Case of Eastern and Southern Africa.” Social Work and Society 10: 1–16. https://ejournals.bib.uni-wuppertal.de/index.php/sws/article/view/310/652
DSD (Department of Social Development). 2005. “Service Delivery Model for Developmental Social Services.” Accessed May 6, 2023. https://www.gov.za/documents/service-delivery-model-developmental-social-welfare-services
DSD (Department of Social Development). 2007. “Recruitment and Retention Strategy for Social Workers.” Accessed May 6, 2023. https://www.westerncape.gov.za/assets/departments/social-development/recruitment_and_retentention_strategy_for_social_workers_2007.pdf
DSD and SACSSP (Department of Social Development and South African Council for Social Service Professions). 2012. “Supervision Framework for the Social Work Profession.” Accessed May 6, 2023. https://www.westerncape.gov.za/assets/departments/social-development/supervision_framework_for_the_social_work_profession_in_south_africa_2012.pdf
Du Plooy, A. A. 2011. “The Functions of Social Work Supervision in the Department of Health and Social Development, Ekurhuleni Region.” MA diss., University of Johannesburg.
Engelbrecht, L., ed. 2014. Management and Supervision of Social Workers: Issues and Challenges within a Social Development Paradigm. Andover: Cengage Learning.
Engelbrecht, L. 2019. “Fundamental Aspects of Supervision.” In Management and Supervision of Social Workers: Issues and Challenges within a Social Development Paradigm, edited by L. Engelbrecht, 150–173. 2nd ed. Andover: Cengage Learning.
Godden, J. 2012. “BASW/CoSW England Research on Supervision in Social Work, with Particular Reference to Supervision Practice in Multidisciplinary Teams: England Document.” Accessed May 6, 2023. https://www.basw.co.uk/system/files/resources/basw_13955-1_0.pdf
Hawkins, P., and R. Shohet. 2012. Supervision in the Helping Professions. 4th ed. Maidenhead: Open University Press.
Hughes, J. M. 2010. “The Role of Supervision in Social Work: A Critical Analysis.” Critical Social Thinking: Policy and Practice 2: 59–77. https://www.ucc.ie/en/media/academic/appliedsocialstudies/docs/JeanneHughes.pdf
Kadushin, A., and D. Harkness. 2002. Supervision in Social Work. 4th ed. New York: Columbia University Press.
Kim, H. 2011. “Job Conditions, Unmet Expectations, and Burnout in Public Child Welfare Workers: How Different from Other Social Workers.” Children and Youth Services Review 33 (2): 358–367. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.childyouth.2010.10.001 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.childyouth.2010.10.001
Lee, V. S. 2003. “Unlearning: A Critical Element in the Learning Process.” Essays on Teaching Excellence toward the Best in the Academy 14 (2): 2002–2003. https://cft.vanderbilt.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/59/vol14no2_unlearning.htm https://podnetwork.org/content/uploads/V14-N3-Lee.pdf
Manthosi, F. L., and J. C. Makhubele. 2016. “Impact of Supervision on Social Work’s Job Performance: Implications for Service Delivery.” Paper presented at the SAAPAM Limpopo Chapter 5th Annual Conference, Mokopane, October 26–28. Accessed May 6, 2023. https://ulspace.ul.ac.za
Mokgadi, K., and K. Maripe. 2020. “Experiences of Agency/Organisation Social Work Supervisors in Gaborone.” Asian Journal of Education and Social Studies 6 (2): 28–40. https://doi.org/10.9734/ajess/2020/v6i230171 DOI: https://doi.org/10.9734/ajess/2020/v6i230171
Mokoka, L. 2016. “The Experiences of Social Work Supervisees in Relationship to Supervision within the Department of Social Development in the Johannesburg Region.” MA diss., University of South Africa, Pretoria.
NASW (National Association of Social Workers). 2013. “Best Practice Standards in Social Work Supervision: Taskforce in Social Work Supervision.” Accessed May 6, 2023. https://www.socialworkers.org/Practice/NASW-Practice-Standards-Guidelines/Best-Practice-Standards-in-Social-Work-Supervision#:~:text=A%20supervisor%20should%20always%20focus,adapt%20to%20that%20supervisee's%20needs.
Ncube, M. 2019. “A Process Model of Social Development Supervision in Social Work.” Southern African Journal of Social Work and Social Development 31 (2): 1–22. https://doi.org/10.25159/2415-5829/4960 DOI: https://doi.org/10.25159/2415-5829/4960
O’Leary, P., M. Tsui, and G. Ruch. 2013. “The Boundaries of the Social Work Relationship Revisited: Towards a Connected, Inclusive and Dynamic Conceptualization.” British Journal of Social Work 43 (1): 135–153. https://doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bcr181 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bcr181
Ross, E., and M. Ncube. 2018. “Student Social Workers’ Experiences of Supervision.” Indian Journal of Social Work 79 (1): 31–54. https://doi.org/10.32444/IJSW.2018.79.1.31-54 DOI: https://doi.org/10.32444/IJSW.2018.79.1.31-54
SACSSP (South African Council for Social Service Professions). 2007. “Policy Guidelines for Course of Conduct, Code of Ethics and the Rules for Social Workers.” Accessed May 6, 2023. https://www.sacssp.co.za/conduct-and-ethics/
Tsui, M. 2004. Social Work Supervision: Context and Concepts. Thousand Oaks: SAGE. DOI: https://doi.org/10.4135/9781452232553
Van Breda, A., and T. Feller. 2014. “Social Work Students’ Experience and Management of Countertransference.” Social Work/Maatskaplike Werk 50 (4): 469–484. https://doi.org/10.15270/50-4-386 DOI: https://doi.org/10.15270/50-4-386
Wilkins, D., M. Khan, L. Stabler, F. Newlands, and J. Mcdonnell. 2018. “Evaluating the Quality of Social Work Supervision in UK Children’s Services: Comparing Self-report and Independent Observations.” Clinical Social Work Journal 46: 350–360. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10615-018-0680-7 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10615-018-0680-7
Zastrow, C., and K. Kirst-Ashman. 2013. Understanding Human Behavior and the Social Environment. 9th ed. Boston: Brooks/Cole, Cengage Learning.
How to Cite