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The Home of Reflective Supervision        

What is supervision? At its simplest, supervision is ‘a professional conversation’. It is not therapy or counselling, focused only on the emotional well-being of the supervise but equally it is not a performance management activity with a sole focus on outputs and outcomes. Instead, it sits midway on the continuum between the two. Our integrated model of supervision provides a framework for delivering supervision which:

  • Involves a professional relationship between the supervisor and staff member based on safety trust and mutual respect which contributes to improving the emotional well-being of staff
  • Provides an opportunity to reflect on day-to-day work with pupils and the interplay between feelings thoughts and their impact on decisions and actions
  • Is clear about the context within which supervision takes place including organisational expectations and demands
  • Supports staff to think about the wider system including work with other agencies.

Our model of supervision aims to help practitioners work with the complexity of safeguarding challenges and to support reflection and critical thinking.

The framework includes supporting tools to help supervisors work creatively with supervisees throughout the process.

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Our Supervision Courses

Authority & Supervision; Difficult and Challenging Conversations – developing frameworks for thinking and action

Supervision, both in name and practice is subject to competing tensions – between the needs (for example) for support for individual supervisees and teams, the needs for organisations to provide overview, quality assurance and evidence of its ‘work’, and of course, the needs of service users and others for accountable and transparent process and planning. Supervisors themselves are likely to experience such tensions in terms of time (or lack of it), competing work and professional priorities, recording (what and where?!), as well as (at times) keenly feeling the ‘emotional labour and challenge’ of working in a field characterised by volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. This half-day workshop considers issues around ‘authority’ and supervision; focusing in particular on areas which provoke intense anxiety, such as performance management, and ‘game playing’ in supervision and the importance of engaging in ‘difficult conversations’. Themes introduced include: working in a diverse environment, the nature and limits of supervisory ‘authority’; the parallels between supervision and practice; the importance of contract/agreement around supervision and the idea of ‘candour’ in work relationships.

Supervising and assessing the ASYE year

The Assessed and Supported Year in Employment for social workers in England, is now well established and involves a holistic approach to assessment based on the Professional Capabilities Framework. These courses are designed to assist employers in developing supervisors to meet the ASYE requirements. The one day programme is for participants who have already completed an In-Trac core supervisory skills module, whereas the two day programme is a standalone course. The aim of both programmes is to support supervisors to use their supervisory skills in the holistic assessment of newly qualified social workers in their first year of employment.

Using Supervision Effectively for supervisees

This day aims to give staff in receipt of 1:1 supervision in social care an opportunity to understand the key elements of effective supervision, and how they can work with their supervisors in order to maximise its effectiveness. There are a range of models of supporting reflective practice and reflective learning. Critical reflection is seen as a fundamental element of professional practice and the linchpin of sound professional judgment and decision making. A combination of learning methods will be used throughout the day, including lecture, workshop and group work. Interactive and experiential methods, in the form of case studies and reflection dilemmas will be used, to inform participant learning and support application to practice. This course will include looking at the supervision policy and exploring how to use supervision effectively.

Supervising to Safeguard in Health Organisations (Children’s)

This two day Supervision Training course (with the option of a third follow up day) is designed to assist participants to deliver a model of supervision that works within a health organisation and contributes towards keeping children safe from harm. It explores the elements of supervision that are intrinsic to keeping children safe from harm across all professions. The course will explore working with uncertainty, the factors that affect decision making, the role of emotional resilience as well as lessons from serious case reviews.

Supervision in Early Years Settings

The aim of this course is to equip managers, owners and supervisors within nursery and day care settings with the knowledge and skills required to play an active role within the safeguarding system and maintain effective safeguarding practice within their own setting.

Supervising to Improve Practice

This four day programme is usually delivered as the two day core programme, plus an additional two days approximately one month later. There will be an expectation that participants complete tasks in the intervening period, thus enabling learning to be put into practice. This course may be supplemented by an observation of supervision practice afters day two and day four. his course aims to provide participants with the skills required to deliver effective supervision with a focus on complex practice dynamics and methods and tools for developing and improving performance. Link to PCF domain 7 & 9 Learning Outcomes

Recording Reflective Supervision

Recording a style of supervision which moves beyond a focus on task completion can be a challenge and for example, within Children’s Services, Ofsted inspections in a number of Local Authorities have commented that reflection and analysis are insufficiently evidenced within the supervision records. In-Trac believes that good recording is an important element of good practice as it provides the opportunity for the supervisee and supervisor to reflect on, summarise and agree the key elements of their discussions as well as providing a permanent record of the reasons underlining decisions which is available to others. We have been working with a number of organisations to create formats that support the recording of reflective supervision and have developed this one day workshop to develop the skills of supervisors in this task. The aim of the day is therefore to explore best practice in recording supervision with a focus on the effective recording of case discussions in the child’s records. It is an interactive participative day focusing on the practical skills involved. It is assumed that participants will have attended previous In-Trac training equipping them with the skills required to deliver reflective supervision

Developing Effective Supervision: Core Skills for Supervisors

This two day Developing Effective Supervision Training programme (with the option of a third follow up day) aims to focus on the core knowledge and skills needed by supervisors working within a variety of settings in health and social care. For social work supervisors the content of the course is consistent with the approach to supervision set out within the employers standards.

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