Supervision, critical analysis and reflection

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Social workers must have access to regular, good quality supervision and understand its importance in providing advice and support. They should know how and when to seek advice from a range of sources including named supervisors, senior social workers and other professionals. They should be able to make effective use of opportunities to discuss, reflect upon and test multiple hypotheses, the role of intuition and logic in decision making, the difference between opinion and fact, the role of evidence, how to address common bias in situations of uncertainty and the reasoning of any conclusions reached and recommendations made, particularly in relation to mental capacity, mental health and safeguarding situations.

Social workers should have a critical understanding of the difference between theory, research, evidence and expertise and the role of professional judgement. They should use practice evidence and research to inform the complex judgements and decisions needed to support, empower and protect their service users. They should apply imagination, creativity and curiosity to working in partnership with individuals and their carers, acknowledging the centrality of people’s own expertise about their experience and needs.

The full Knowledge and Skills Statement for social workers in adult services can be viewed on the Department of Health and Social Care website.


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