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Northern Ireland social work supervision survey findings

Two regional surveys of supervision in social work were undertaken in 2018 and 2019 respectively to determine the prevalence, quality and impact of professional supervision for social workers across Northern Ireland from both the supervisee and supervisor perspectives. The composite report of the findings and key messages is now available to download.

An excellent response to both surveys has provided a very rich source of intelligence and evidence about supervision practice which have been used to inform propositions for a revised social work supervision policy.

Targeted consultation on these propositions was completed with senior managers from health and social care trusts and other social work organisations in early March 2020, but due to the COVID-19 crisis full consultation on the policy has been deferred.

However, during this period of crisis, access to professional supervision is evermore essential. So, in keeping with decisions to relax existing standards to facilitate greater flexibility and maintain the delivery of essential services, the draft policy has been issued to trusts and social work employers in other sectors. It can be used to inform arrangements for supervision.

The final draft of the policy will be informed by social workers’ experiences of supervision during this time and a final consultation on the draft strategy will take place when normal business resumes.