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Home > Providing effective supervision. A workforce development tool, including a unit of competence and supporting guidance.

Zutshi, Harry and McDonnell, Frank and Leay, David (2007) Providing effective supervision. A workforce development tool, including a unit of competence and supporting guidance. London: Skills for Care and the Children's Workforce Development Council.

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This workforce development tool has been developed by Skills for Care and the UK Children’s Workforce Development Council (CWDC) to promote the widespread provision of high quality supervision across adult and children’s social care, and it may be applicable to the wider workforce. The tool reflects the feedback from the earlier field testing, both in terms of the wording of the unit of competence and the supporting materials.

Professional supervision can make a major contribution to the way organisations ensure the achievement of high quality provision and consistent outcomes for people who use services (adults, children, young people, families, carers). High quality supervision is also vital in the support and motivation of workers undertaking demanding jobs and should therefore be a key component of retention strategies. Supervision should contribute to meeting performance standards and the expectations of people who use services, and of carers and families, in a changing environment.

The quality of the relationship between workers and people who use services is the essential ingredient of effective services. People who use social care and children’s services say that services are only as good as the person delivering them. They value workers who have a combination of the right human qualities as well as the necessary knowledge and skills.

Supervision must enable and support workers to build effective professional relationships, develop good practice, and exercise both professional judgement and discretion in decision-making. For supervision to be effective it needs to combine a performance management approach with a dynamic, empowering and enabling supervisory relationship. Supervision should improve the quality of practice, support the development of integrated working and ensure continuing professional development. Supervision should contribute to the development of a learning culture by promoting an approach that develops the confidence and competence of managers in their supervision skills. It is therefore at the core of individual and group continuing professional development.

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