Supervising The Supervisor

New open access resources for managers of practice supervisors

Published: 18/01/2021

Author: Research in Practice

The Practice Supervisor Development Programme (PSDP) has released over 30 new resources, inspired by the ‘Supervising the Supervisor’ programme, to support learning and development for all middle leaders who manage practice supervisors in children’s social care.

The learning resources are organised into five key themes:

The learning resources are available on the open access website – Resources and Tools for Practice Supervisors. In each section you will find a mixture of knowledge briefings, presentations, films and learning tools:

  • Learning tools can be used to review and audit your skills, for example by reflecting on your approach to leadership, or to support you to consider how you can influence supervision in a certain area such as embedding observations of supervision.
  • Knowledge briefings have a strategic focus and have been developed to support you in building an organisational culture in which practice supervisors, practitioners and excellent standards of social work practice can thrive.

View the resources (open access).

Resources for supervisors

The PSDP website has over 100 resources available specifically for practice supervisors, regardless of length of time in role or experience. New resources have been added including:

Practice tools

Let us know what you think about these resources via #PSDP on Twitter.

Reflective, emotionally literate and curious supervision

Being a child and family practice supervisor is a skilled and challenging role. Time and workload pressures mean that it can be difficult to make space for reflection within children’s social care. Throughout 2020 the PSDP has continued to provide an established six day course for child and family practice supervisors. Over 1,000 practice supervisors in England have attended since 2018.

It was highlighted that there should also be opportunities for middle leaders to explore how they can promote a positive supervision culture within their organisation, alongside providing opportunities to consider their own role in providing relational and reflective supervision for the practice supervisors they line manage. In 2020 the PSDP also offered a new two day ‘Supervising the Supervisor’ course for managers of practice supervisors. By March 2021, over 200 middle leaders working in children’s social care will have attended.   

Both programmes have highlighted the importance of providing reflective, emotionally literate, containing and curious supervision for all staff working in children’s social care. This is a factor that many practice supervisors who have attended have commented on, both in terms of the supervision they provide to their own teams, as well as in supervision discussions with their own line managers.

The course provided me with the space I don’t often get to reflect upon the quality of my supervisions and how I can improve upon this. It also made me think and analyse who I am as a person, practitioner, manager and leader.’ Participant on the Supervising the Supervisor programme

Many of those who have attended have highlighted the value of taking time out to re-connect with foundational ideas about the value of reflective supervision and try out new models and techniques for promoting reflective discussion.

The course has been really helpful to me in re-centring myself as supervisor within a local authority social work context.’ Participant on the Supervising the Supervisor programme

This has been a very good reminder about slowing things down to reflect and connect with myself and my team.’ Participant on the Supervising the Supervisor programme

They have also noted how difficult it can be for middle leaders to take up continuing professional development (CPD) opportunities and reflect on their own skill development and learning in role due to the pressures of operational demands. 

Supervising The Supervisor

Resources for managers of practice supervisors

New resources, inspired by the ‘Supervising the Supervisor’ programme, support learning and development for all middle leaders who manage practice supervisors in children’s social care.
View the resources