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Article

Lawrence Shulman

The article addresses the four major content areas of supervision, including direct practice, professional impact, job management, and continued learning. It also examines supervision models and current challenges including the adoption of evidenced-based practices, a movement away from process supervision, supervision of social workers by other professionals, advances in technology, inter and intra-cultural issues, and changes in the NASW Code of Ethics.

Article

Jeffrey A. Butts

Community-based supervision allows the legal system to hold criminal offenders accountable for their behavior without the significant costs and potential harms associated with incarceration. When offenders are placed on probation (in lieu of incarceration) or parole (as a follow-up to incarceration), they are also usually involved in other programs as well, including victim or offender mediation, substance abuse treatment, workforce development, restitution, community service, and electronic monitoring.

Article

John E. Tropman

Supervision is an important life skill with many applications, all of which involve the provision of helpful guidance to others. Guidance may come in the form of encouraging self-realization or the explanation of specific procedures. Generally, supervisory encounters involve one or two issues or their combination: counseling problems and coaching problems, broadly conceived. Counseling problems involve issues of attitude, more or less. Coaching problems involve issues of information. A supervisory framework includes the identification of stairs of supervisee competence: novice, beginner, competent, proficient, expert, master, and maestro (a master who can motivate others and blend the individual skills into a larger collective product) (Dreyfus & Dreyfus, 1986). Each stair, or stage, has its own "flow chart," where the complexity of tasks is matched by the level of competence. When the supervisee gets to 8/9 or 9/9, it is time to move to the next level. Supervisors need to know the six supervisory competencies: professional supervision (clinical/educational), managerial, supportive, career development, reflective supervision, and coaching. Being well supervised helps the supervisee be a better supervisor. There are several guidelines to follow to be a good supervisor: Consider what makes a supervisor “great” or a supervisor “awful” and apply what is learned to one’s supervisory practice. Organize each upcoming supervisory meeting and plan an agenda for it. It is helpful to be aware of “wicked problems” (which are multisided and complex, and often without simple resolution). Know the difference between professional work and emotion work, and between formal and informal managerial supervision. Finally, consider 19 common supervisory questions and suggestions.

Article

Naomi Farber

Alfred Kadushin (1916–2014) was a distinguished practitioner and academic in the field of social work. Professor Kadushin was most significantly known for his scholastic contribution to the field of child welfare and in the areas of supervision and interviewing.

Article

Daniel Harkness

Social work is a consulting profession. Often compared with social-work supervision, consultation is relatively voluntary and time limited. Visionaries once anticipated that consultation would become a larger field of practice in which social workers served as consultants. There are indications that the field of consultation has begun to realize some of that promise because consultation is second only to direct practice in how licensed social workers spend time at work. If the primary consumers of social-work consultation are social workers themselves, then this reflects a high standard of practice because seeking case consultation has been codified as a duty in social-work codes of ethics, practice standards, and standards of care.

Article

Sadye L. M. Logan

Max Siporin (1917–2010), professor emeritus at the State University of New York at Albany, made significant contributions to the social work literature with the publication of the widely used textbook entitled Introduction to Social Work Practice, which became the gold standard for teaching social work in many schools of social work. He was also among the first social workers to publish on the topic of social work and marriage and family therapy in psychiatric settings and to testify as an expert in social work in a court of law.

Article

Michàlle E. Mor Barak and Dnika J. Travis

Human resource management (HRM) refers to the design of formal systems that ensure effective and efficient use of human talent and serves as a vehicle for achieving organizational mission and goals. Effective HRM requires applying the same person-in-environment value orientation that guides client services to managing human resources and is critical in today’s economic, legal, cultural, and technological landscape. We are experiencing unparalleled change, uncertainty, and, in some contexts, upheaval in communities locally, nationally, and across the globe. These challenges create demands on the social service workforce to adeptly and rapidly innovate, provide quality services, and meet client and community needs. Centered on promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion, we have developed an organizing HRM framework in three areas: (a) employee development, (b) employee value proposition and experience, and (c) future directions for inclusive and equitable workplaces.

Article

Susan J. Lambert

This entry traces the development of both theory and empirical knowledge on the relationship between work and mental and physical health. Intrinsic job characteristics continue to shape the extent to which workers find meaning in what they do, and theories of stress and social roles continue to guide research. The field now includes investigations of how work affects personal life and theories that recognize the beneficial health effects of well-designed jobs. Social workers are advised that lower-level jobs come up short on all the positive qualities of employment covered in this entry, placing their workers' mental and physical health at risk.