Effective supervision in a variety of settings

The context for effective supervision: Supervision in an integrated context: establishing a common culture

With the increasing commitment to providing services in social care, housing and health in integrated teams, the demands of providing a good and consistent supervision model are challenging. At a strategic level, it is vitally important that all participants to integrated working arrangements are signed up to the service and that the chosen ways of working are contained in policies to avoid any risk of malfunction in the integrated team. This must include a supervision policy which clarifies lines of accountability and communication pathways between managers and supervisors within the system.

The proposed development of a team comprising social workers, police officers and health professionals delivering child protection services in Southampton City highlighted the need to:

Figure 4 is developed from the work with Southampton City Council children’s services and may provide a useful framework for others developing integrated services.

Within any policy there is a need to be clear about the meaning of the terms used and this is particularly important when developing policies in integrated teams.

Table 2, adapted by Jane Wonnacott from Morrison (2005) 'Staff supervision in social care', Brighton: Pavilion, p 35 may be of help in clarifying the issues that need to be understood and addressed.

One important issue to consider is that where one professional provides supervision to a person from a different professional group on behalf of their common employer, there may be a need to provide additional opportunities for supervision of clinical practice by someone from the supervisee’s own profession. This may not add to the total time provided by the employer for supervision but cost implications need to be borne in mind when setting budgets. There are good examples, highlighted in the research, of people working in mental health services, integrated learning disability services and supported living environments where this experience is already being built up. It is hoped that a bank of practice evidence can be amassed as we learn from experience, in order to inform future best practice.


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Available downloads:

  • Effective supervision in a variety of settings
  • Service user and carer involvement in the supervision of health and social care workers: seminar report
  • Practice enquiry into supervision in a variety of adult care settings where there are health and social care practitioners working together
  • Narrative summary of the evidence review on supervision of social workers and social care workers in a range of settings including integrated settings