One of the long-lasting features in conceptualization and also the definition in the supervision in social works mirror the organizational objective in the offering of the services to the clients in a manner that is effective and also efficient (Kadushin & Harkness, 2002). This is a very important means by which the accountability of the agency is achieved. At the middle level of the hierarchy organization some supervisors oversee the work that the staffs at the front line do as they engage in the mandate and also the purpose of the particular organization. The essence of education and worker support has been recognized well as a very important supervision aspect for the contribution of effective practices. In the definition of supervision, the most mentioned aspects are administrative practices, educational practices and lastly the supportive practice (Kadushin & Harkness, 2002; Shulman, 1993).
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Administrative supervision is about assignment of cases and also assessment monitoring, planning of interventions and the work which is going on so as to aid the social workers in the implementation of the policy of the agency and also to work within the particular structure of that agency (Shulman, 1993). The supervisor is responsible for the evaluation of the [performance of the workers and also is involved in the main decision-making processes which are in line with the advances of their careers and also for the increment of their salaries (Gibelman & Schervish, 1997). At the capacity that the supervisor is granted, he or she has accountability to the public in ensuring that effective services and competence in the practices are made sure of.
Consequently, supervision of education is aimed at the development of the “professional capacity of supervisees through enhancing their knowledge and skills including developing greater self-awareness” (Barker, 1995; Munson, 2002). This is in line with the agency’s requirements for the supervisors and the relations to the workers which include their job description, their performance goals as stipulated and worker evaluation. In education, there is teaching in a direct manner of all aspects of the social work which include among others, practice with the customers or clients, teamwork, the professional or the working environment and finally the social and political systems which are relevant.
Supportive supervision, which is the third and the last function, is about how workers are able to handle their work-related stress. In this case they provide support to the workers and also encourage them, reassure them on their endeavors and use the suitable autonomy (Kadushin & Harkness, 2002). The main reason for this is the enhancement of the morale of the working staff and is also used as a tool for satisfying the job of the social workers.
During the early stages of the process of supervision the major areas that require attention include those to do with the agency and with the agency’s procedures as well as policies that include physical facilities and personnel practices; staff unit within which all work will be undertaken, the entire and higher-level staff unit relating to the unit, the supervisor as well as the clients for which the service is intended. The supervisor must always ensure that he or she is capable of dividing each of these parts into smaller sub-components as a way of ensuring that the members of staff can handle each part one at a time. The work phase skills during supervision are divided into basic categories referred to as skill factors with every of these skill factors containing a group of behaviors that are closely related. The supervisor aims at achieving a common goal/element using these skills. Such skills include Sessional tuning in skills, Sessional Contracting Skills, elaborating, empathetic, and Sessional Ending type of skills, participation of employees, acknowledging employees’ feelings among other skills. The supervisory processes at Northside Center for Child Development agency, some of these supervisory skills have been used to ensure that the process is effectively undertaken and that it goes in line with the policies and procedures that guide the process.
An active participation of all employees in the process of performance planning, counseling and evaluation is one key way through which employees will be able to give out their various ideas, contribute their various levels of knowledge, give solutions to arising problems as well as be able to feel like part and parcel of the process. This gives them a responsibility through which they will voluntarily be able to responsibly carry out their various roles to achieve the goals and objectives with which they took part in designing. Active participation in all processes acquires them the skills to conduct a supervisory process on their own. It is through participation that they learn and improve performance.
It is through Elaborating Skills that a supervisor is able to question as well as help the employees to make clear and even elaborate the specific areas of concern. Elaborating skills include containment, attentive listening, asking questions, focusing on the specifics rather than the general and focusing on reaching the inside silences. Skills in conflict resolution help employees in dealing away with their personality issues. Enhancing effective conflict resolution requires supervisors to ensure that they are able to identify existing problems as well as initiate discussions with the supervisees. It is through these two skills that the supervisory process at the agency gets to discuss and if possible, resolve any personal or professional problems that adversely affect the employee’s performance. As an area that needs improvement, the agency needs to incorporate Bernard’s model. In order to address the increase in the changes within the society, and also in counseling, it is very vital that the supervisors put in mind how they will be able to focus on social justice in their work of supervision. The use of Bernard’s model and social justice is necessary for providing the clinical supervisors with a framework that aids them in the attendance to social justice. Some research to be done in the future will be important in the examination of how efficient the integration of Bernard’s model to social justice is in the process of supervision. According to Bernard and Goodyear (2004), there are many supervisors who have integrated the model in the assistance of their supervision with counselor’s trainees.
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According to Bernard and Goodyear (2004), the model has three roles for supervision process: the consultant, counselor and lastly the teacher. The introduction of these concepts was mainly for use in the roles of the supervisor in gauging the students in the comprehension of conceptualization, incorporation of skills for process and personalizing the issues of the individuals and the clients. According to the author, the incorporation of the model with the students, it was accessed to both counselors and supervisors for the mentioned objectives. The supervisors were doctorate students whilst the counselors were master’s students. The function of the supervisors was to play the role of counseling whilst the supervisors were given the chance to incorporate the functionality which has been defined in the said model.
As an example, the counselor was involved in the supervision with the implementation of some systematic decentralization with the clients and the technique was not ne learned. The supervisors were required to show the counselors how to relax do approximations which are successive, build hierarchies and also for the process of decentralization.
The use of group supervision can be used as another way of improvement of the process. This can be used not only as an exclusive method through which supervision goals can be achieved but also as an alternative to individual conferencing. Group supervision is effective way through which less time is spent and whereby social workers are able to exchange ideas and even learn from one another (Kadushin & Harkness, 2002). It is through sharing ideas, concepts as well as challenges that there can be normalization in the various reactions to nerve-racking environments of work as well as practice experiences and alleviation of isolation via worker support and connection between each other. Group modalities can also be used for professional development through peer groups.
Through the establishment of workable supervision objectives and goals and by ensuring that the needs of the supervisees are met, supervisors and supervisees can be able to form a successful alliance based on the two parties’ agreement on the goals, degree to which the parties have agreed on the various tasks required for effective goal achievement as well as the bond of care and trust likely to develop between the two parties (Bernard and Goodyear, 2004)
Bernard, J. and Goodyear, R. (2004) Fundamentals of Clinical Supervision. Boston: Pearson Education, Inc.
Kadushin, H. & Harkness, D. (2002) Supervision in Social Work (4th ed.). New York: Columbia University Press.
Shulman, L. (1993). Interactional supervision. Washington, DC: NASW Press.