Supervision in child protection: A space and place for reflection or an excruciating marathon of compliance?

Beddoe, Liz, Ferguson, Harry, Warwick, Lisa, Disney, Tom, Leigh, Jadwiga and Cooner, Tarsem (2021) Supervision in child protection: A space and place for reflection or an excruciating marathon of compliance? European Journal of Social Work. ISSN 1369-1457 (In Press)

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1080/13691457.2021.1964443

Abstract

Supervision is promoted as an essential element of effective professional practice in social work. Its benefits include promoting reflective social work and assisting with the management of the emotions generated in challenging practice. This article reports on observations of supervision in a 15-month ethnographic study of social work teams on two very different sites in England, one using hot-desking the other a small team design. Our findings show how supervision is constituted by temporal, spatial and relational elements and that some current organisational designs do not create the ideal environment for reflective supervision to flourish. Far from providing an opportunity for containment of challenging emotions, supervision was sometimes a source of stress. It was experienced as reflective and containing where managers were accessible and space was made for thinking in a context of openness that encouraged regular deep conversations about current work. By experiencing the atmospheres of supervisory encounters and organisational cultures, this study has enabled us to produce new insights into the embodied nature of supervision as it is lived.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: supervision, child protection, social work, ethnography
Subjects: L500 Social Work
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Social Work, Education and Community Wellbeing
Depositing User: John Coen
Date Deposited: 05 Aug 2021 08:33
Last Modified: 08 Sep 2021 15:00
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/46851

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