Theories & Principles of Supervision for Social Work

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Assessment Type

Course Work

Word Count

2000 words




4 Days

Assignment Criteria

According to Ming-sum Tsui (2004), 'Social work supervision has been identified as one of the most important factors in determining the job satisfaction levels of social workers and the quality of service to clients.' Analyse this statement.

Many social service agencies prefer to use the Casework Model in the supervision of their social workers. Is this the best model for supervision? Should they continue to use this as the primary model of supervision?

You (35 years old) have recently been recruited to be the social work supervisor at Gladstone Family Services, a social service agency serving children and youths in the community. After a few months, you realised that four of the social workers working with youths have issues with you. Design a plan of action on how you would deal with each of them.

Their details are as follows:

Social workers working with youths:

1. Sally, F/28, Chinese – she thinks that you are biased towards Boon and always gives him new projects to manage.
2. Boon, M/23, Chinese, new graduate – tends to be overly friendly with you; he flatters you whenever he sees you, and may occasionally buy treats for you.
3. Sammy, M/40, Indian – being more mature, always tells you he has 'no problems' whenever you try to engage him during supervision sessions.
4. Allima, F/36, Malay, your classmate and friend at University – she is jealous of your position and thinks she should have been appointed.
(40 marks)

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Assignment Solution

An important aspect that has been highlighted by Ming-sum Tsui (2004) is the fact that in case of social work, supervision plays an important role in the determination of the satisfaction level of workers and the quality of services that are provided to the clients. This has been considered to be an important factor for study and analysis over the years in social work to understand the validity of the statement, as the management of human resources engaged in social work continues to evolve and become a challenge to providers

The main important factors that need to be concerned in this case are social workers, clients, services and supervision. An important aspect that needs to be considered in case of social work is that providers of social work services are often voluntary partners and untrained (Noble, C., & Irwin, J., 2009). As a result of which, it becomes important to supervise their activities and provision of services, not only to ensure quality, but also to ensure that the job satisfaction levels of the supervisors are enhanced. Another important factor that needs to be highlighted is that supervisors in social work receive compensation and social workers generally provide services for experience voluntarily. The main objective of supervision of social workers is to ensure protection of the best interests of the client (Gilbert, C., & Maxwell, C. F., 2011) which makes it important for supervisors to guide and manage the activities of workers.

It has been highlighted that the perception of the supervisor's role often influences the behavior and performance of the social workers(Noble, C., & Irwin, J., 2009). Social workers try to evaluate the role of supervisors in terms of duties and expectations in order to understand their individual roles and responsibilities in the field. This also makes it important for supervisors to be able to inspire and motivate the social workers to put in their best efforts to render effective and efficient services to clients, even when in most cases, there are no compensations awarded to workers. Often the question arises as to then how do organizations and society ensure procurement of effective performance levels from the social workers. The answer to the question, perhaps, lies in the role played by supervisors engaged in social work.

Out of many approaches of supervision, the normative approach, empirical approach and pragmatic approach are regarded to be well suited for attaining social work objectives.

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