Supervision and Professional Development in Social Work Practice aims to familiarize its readers with the current state of supervision in social work, provide them a common platform for reflection and action and thereby promote excellence in their respective learning, research and professional practice areas. It incorporates contributions by scholars, practitioners and students from various backgrounds, professional disciplines and countries. The ideas, concepts and practice frameworks discussed in this book are useful in any human service context. However, they need to be adapted with cultural sensitivity and appropriate levels of consultation and guidance to effectively challenge prevalent practice frameworks and support the embracing of new ideas to enhance professional and authentic engagement. The book utilizes several research studies, views, experiences and reflections, and includes numerous Voices from the Field, which provide diverse perspectives and viewpoints as well as practical help. This book will prove indispensable for academicians, practitioners, supervisors and supervisees as well as postgraduate and advanced undergraduate students of social work, counselling, psychology and education.
Chapter 1: Introduction to Supervision: Concepts, Contexts and Issues
If a man is called to be a streetsweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great streetsweeper who did his job well.
—Martin Luther King Jr.
This chapter introduces the construct of supervision, the foundation of ethical practice for helping professionals. Professional supervision is defined, and numerous aims of supervision are stated. The nature of the supervisory alliance—supervisor and supervisee—is considered across contexts, from an evidence-based practice and practice-based evidence perspective. Supervision is a distinct professional activity, a continuing process of support ...