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Clear standards for high quality adult social work

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Knowledge and skills

New post-qualifying standard for social work practice supervisors in adult services has arrived

I am delighted that the consultation response and the final post-qualifying standard: knowledge and skills statement for social work supervisors in adult services have now been published.

It is important that we have a clear standard that sets out what supervisors should know and be able to do to support, coach and challenge practice. High quality social work which helps people achieve the best possible outcomes is the goal.

The fact that that many individuals and organisations across the sector have responded to both the development of the draft statement and the consultation, is welcome acknowledgement of this crucial role.

Multicoloured stick characters linking hands illustrating collaboration

The culture and conditions within which social workers practice are key, both to improving practice and developing and retaining staff.

Access to good quality, reflective supervision and support and being part of a learning culture that recognises social workers’ strengths remains a priority for our profession. This is about building professional confidence, strength and resilience - making sure social work values and approaches continue to make a meaningful contribution to improving people’s lives in an increasingly complex world.

As well as responsibility for quality assuring practice, supervisors play a crucial role in establishing a career pathway for social workers that is rooted in practice rather than operational management.

When I look back on my career, I know it was the excellent supervisors I had who helped me develop my skills,  knowledge and confidence and who inspired me to be the best I could be.

Empowering , supportive and relentlessly looking at what’s possible and asking the right questions, made all the difference in sustaining my professional curiosity and getting it right for the people with whom I worked.

computer figures putting jigsaw pieces together to demonstrate team work

It is from practice leadership that the most successful personalised approaches have become embedded, co-produced with people and their families and carers. In this way, we can genuinely focus on what matters to people and help them to live the lives they want.

This statement will support the professional development of supervisors and ensure that, by having a national standard,  supervisor skills and development programmes are applied consistently.

Work is ongoing with a small number of employer partnerships to test approaches to recognising supervisor capabilities. This will inform the tools and support required to help make the system successful and prepare the way for future accreditation against the standard.

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