Influencing and governing practice excellence within the organisation and community

Image: Mapping to the Knowledge and SKills Statement

2.1 Practice supervisors must be proactive in establishing and maintaining a position of influence within the organisation and across the wider health and social care community, with appropriate support from senior managers and be recognised for their expertise and values-based practice. They should shape and influence an environment which facilitates excellent practice by setting high professional standards and motivating social workers to do the same. They should support social workers to work within the relevant governance frameworks, both internal and external to the organisation.

2.2 Practice supervisors should design and implement measures to assure the quality of practice and the effective throughput of work. They will support social workers to be ambitious for people by promoting reflective, curious and inquisitive practice, use of appropriate interviewing techniques and encourage challenging conversations to ensure decisions are defensible and put into action.

2.3 Practice supervisors will support social workers to take the lead in upholding human rights, outcomes-focused and personalised approaches to adult safeguarding practice and ensure they are able to make positive interventions that prevent deterioration in health and wellbeing. In situations where a child or young person may be at risk, practice supervisors will support social workers to have the necessary knowledge and skills to identify risk of significant harm and ensure they are supported to take appropriate action.

2.4 Practice supervisors should build positive relationships with adults and their carers and other professionals through their professionalism and optimistic attitude, as appropriate and model this approach to others. Practice supervisors will lead by example, encouraging and promoting a holistic approach to practice which is both person-centred and outcomes-focussed and which demonstrates integrity, creativity, resilience and clarity of purpose, to positively influence decision-making. They will provide a safe environment within which social workers can be energised and effective. Practice supervisors will be visible and accessible to staff, adults and their carers and professional partners.

2.5 Practice supervisors should ensure the processes they are able to influence are functional and efficient. They should be pro-active in protecting social workers from unnecessary bureaucratic or hierarchical pressures and be able implement strategies to help manage them. They should recognise and articulate the dilemmas and challenges faced by social workers and use this expertise to guide, support and influence the provision of the organisation’s services. Post-qualifying standards for social work practice supervisors in adult social care.

2.6 Practice supervisors must promote the effective and equitable use of organisational resources and identify and support use of resources that lie within families and communities. They should be open to creative solutions to promote well-being and independence, researching and identifying where new resources and preventative support could be developed in partnership with the community. Practice supervisors should support social workers to develop influential and respectful working relationships with partner agencies. 

2.7 Practice supervisors should engage with the structures, pressures, priorities and levers within the organisation for influencing and shaping its thinking and actions. They should share their practice expertise to influence wider organisations that make-up the health and social care community, to help the system function positively for people.

The full Knowledge and Skills Statement for Social Work Practice Supervisors in Adult Social Care can be viewed on the Department of Health and Social care website.


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