SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER
This policy applies to all staff employed by Specialist Services of CYPD. It reflects the principles set within the Standards of Employers of Social Workers.This Policy is compliant with the Munro Review of Child Protection Final Report – A Child Centred System (2011).
Supervision has a vital role to play in supporting staff in a challenging Social Care environment in which they work. Supervision is also one of the foundations of service governance, in that it provides opportunities for staff to be individually accountable for the quality of their practice. As such, supervision is a high priority within the Service. Supervision is a two-way process involving rights and responsibilities for both supervisors and for those they supervise.
This Policy supersedes that of November 2008. It provides a framework for supervision for staff working within the Specialist Services of Wirral Children and Young People's Department. The Children and Young People's Department (CYPD) is committed to improving the quality of its service delivery through the provision of regular planned and structured supervision between line managers and the staff they have responsibility for.
This Policy applies to all staff employed by Specialist Services of CYPD. It reflects the principles set within the Standards for Employers of Social Workers.
In relation to supervision, Standard 5 states that employers should ensure:
Supervision is designed to support a facilitative and involving management style, developed within the context of a working relationship, based on trust, mutual confidence and clear professional expectations. It should involve regular dialogue and reflection on the work being undertaken.
Through the process of supervision, it is expected that:
There are three components of supervision:
Managers are responsible for ensuring that everyone they line-manage has a designated Supervisor with whom they meet individually for direct formal supervision. All Social Workers must be supervised by a Manager who is a qualified Social Worker, registered with the HCPC.
Supervision records are owned by the Department.
The purpose of supervision is to achieve the following objectives:
The Line Manager is responsible for ensuring that each member of staff for whom they are responsible has a Supervision Contract that is reviewed at annually. The Supervision Contract Meeting sets out the expectations in respect of the supervisor and staff member and the context of the supervision sessions. The schedule should be set to meet the needs of the individual and the standard set by the Service regarding frequency.
Supervision should be planned and be a face-to-face meeting between Manager and member of staff on a one to one basis. Records must be written and should be shared with the member of staff within 10 working days.
Other methods of supervision could be included as well as the direct one to one meeting, to help professional development
The frequency and duration of supervision is dependent on a range of factors, in particular:
There are five inter-related components of supervision which must be incorporated into the supervisory process and reflect the Framework provided by the Social Work Reform Board:
Effective supervision requires a clear agenda by both Supervisor and Supervisee. It is a 2 way process. Sessions should include the following:
As a minimum each child should be discussed every other monthly supervision session i.e. once every two months. This gives supervisors and supervisees some scope to decide on the work to be discussed in a single supervision session. These decisions must take full account of the child's need for protection and it is highly likely that all children subject to Child Protection Plans and looked after children who are not yet in permanent placements will be discussed in every session. If in exceptional circumstances a monthly supervision session does not take place all children must be discussed during the next session.
All workers must have an annual, separately booked, performance appraisal session during June, July or August.
The focus of Annual Appraisals is on a review of the previous year, reflecting on what has gone well, what has not gone as well; and what the areas of focus should be for the individual for the forthcoming year.
Supervisors must ensure that they take into account the principles of the Data Protection Act 2018, i.e. any personal information held on an individual is accurate, adequate, relevant, not excessive, available to the individual, and kept no longer than is necessary.
The Supervision log sets out the dates agreed for supervision. The log should be completed in respect of each supervision session to indicate:
In the event of a planned supervision session being cancelled or postponed a rearranged date should be arranged. If a new date cannot be arranged a reason should be recorded on the log.
The Supervisor is responsible for ensuring that each supervision session is recorded accurately. Each case discussion, along with decisions and actions regarding families should be recorded on the standardised case consultation document within the Appendix 4: Supervision Notes. Each one should form part of the supervision file, with each separate consultation uploaded onto the respective child's electronic file.
The supervision record must be signed by both Supervisor and Supervisee. Each case consultation on individual children must also be signed by both. Where there is disagreement, the supervisor and supervisee may agree to amend the record. Where agreement cannot be reached, a note should be made on the record of the different views and signed by both parties.
Any training needs identified within supervision should be requested using the Training Request Form where relevant.
Managers will keep the supervision records in the Supervisee's Supervision file. It will be the Supervisor's responsibility to maintain this file and to ensure it is located in a secure place. The Supervisee will have a copy of the supervision records for their own use, which they will need to store responsibly.
If the Supervisor changes, or if the Supervisee moves to a new service but stays in the same role, the supervision file containing the supervision records and other documents will become the responsibility of the Supervisee's new Manager.
The Manager will store all records relating to supervision according to the current corporate Records Management Retention Policy (currently 6 years after termination of employment). If the Supervisee leaves the organisation or takes a new job in another service, the Manager is responsible for ensuring that the supervision records are sent to Human Resources or Records Management to be added to the Personal File.
Each supervision session is confidential which in turn helps to ensure a trustful relationship between supervisor and supervisee.
There may be certain circumstances when Senior Managers need to access supervision records. These circumstances include concerns relating to the public interest, the law, risk to staff or families, professional conduct. Where formal performance management processes have been initiated (separate to the supervision process), it may be necessary to refer to the supervision records to demonstrate certain issues were addressed in supervision.
Inspectors also have access to supervision records and documents to ensure staff are provided with adequate, timely and good quality supervision.
Those who are providing supervision will also receive supervision which should address and monitor their effectiveness as Supervisors. This could include reviewing the style and content of notes and supporting Supervisees to develop their competencies.
Bi-monthly auditing of supervision records should take place at all levels within Specialist Services. This should involve the audit of one supervision record a month for each supervisor using the audit tool. Any issues arising from this is addressed via the Specialist Services Management Team (SSMT) on a quarterly basis. The audit tool can be found in Appendix 5: Supervision Audit Tool.