Relationship-based practice supervision

Image: Mapping to the Knowledge and SKills Statement

(Practice supervisors who have PEPS Stage 2 or PDE through externally moderated or quality assured programmes meet the requirements for this statement)

6.1 Practice supervisors should be able to critically reflect on and apply a range of relevant supervisory models which recognise and address the power dynamics in the supervision relationship. They should develop a collaborative, supervisory partnership in which the relationships with adults in need of care and support have a central position. Practice supervisors should make specific use of practice observations and feedback from individuals, carers and other professionals to reflect on and improve the social worker’s practice.

6.2 Practice supervisors should work in partnership with social workers to develop and regularly review a supervision agreement to support the supervision process.

6.3 Practice supervisors should be able to identify emotional or personal barriers affecting practice and recognise when to step in and proactively support individuals. They should promote reflective thinking to drive more effective discussions so that reasoned and timely decision-making can take place. Practice supervisors should demonstrate a high level of resilience within pressured environments, seeking professional support for themselves when necessary. They should be attuned to the effect of high emotion and stress and respond in empathic, compassionate, calm, measured and pragmatic ways. 

6.4 Practice supervisors should recognise the impact the relationships with whom they are working may have on social workers, including people and their carers as well as other professionals, which can impact on the effectiveness of practice. They must provide high quality individual supervision that is responsive and restorative. Practice supervisors should promote approaches such as peer supervision and group case consultation to foster professional curiosity, to help identify common bias, to shift thinking and to generate the best outcomes for adults and their carers.

6.5 Practice supervisors should reflect on the confidence of their social workers and adapt their management and leadership style according to people's needs and to foster organisational improvement.

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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