Clinical supervision focuses on the work that caseworkers do with children and families. Good clinical supervision is critical to building worker competencies, including reinforcing positive social work ethics and values, encouraging self-reflection and critical-thinking skills, building upon training to enhance performance, and supporting the worker through casework decision-making and crises. Clinical supervision can also help promote a trauma-informed approach to casework. The following resources provide examples of efforts to better understand and enhance the clinical role of supervisors.
Episode 137 - Eda Kauffman: Clinical Supervision: Integrating a Trauma-Informed LensClinical Supervision: Integrating a Trauma-Informed Lens [Podcast]
In SocialWork Podcast Series (2014)
Presents a podcast featuring Eda Kauffman, associate director of field education at the University of Buffalo School of Social Work, on how to incorporate a trauma-informed approach into work as a clinical supervisor.
Exploring the Self-Care Practices of Child Welfare Workers
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Children's Bureau (2018)
Children's Bureau Express, 19 (7)
Reviews research on how child welfare workers experience high rates of vicarious trauma, stress, and compassion fatigue and discusses self-care practices that may help. Findings from the study emphasized the implications of promoting the well-being of staff for supervisors and managers.
An Introduction to Ethics in Child Welfare Supervision [Video]
University of Minnesota, Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare
Offers information on ethical dilemmas and ethical decision-making rules for child welfare supervisors.
Real World Clinical Blog: On Social Work Supervision
The New Social Worker
Reviews mediocre versus good supervision in the field of social work and characteristics that make supervision authentic.
Secondary Trauma and Child Welfare Staff: Guidance for Supervisors and Administrators (PDF - 785 KB)
National Child Traumatic Stress Network (2016)
Explains how secondary traumatic stress (STS) manifests, who in the child welfare field is at risk for STS, and strategies for prevention of and intervention for STS. The tip sheet for supervisors and administrators lists STS assessment tools and offers recommendations for professional development efforts that focus on building skills associated with resilience.
Solution-Focused Supervision: A Go-To Approach
Social Work Today, 15(5)
Describes solution-focused supervision, which focuses on creating solutions rather than examining problems and helps bring about clinical and professional growth. Solution-focused supervision uses techniques such as focusing on the future, repeating what works, and exception finding.
Supervising From a Trauma-Informed Perspective [Video]
The University of Texas at Austin, Texas Institute for Child and Family Well-Being, Steve Hicks School of Social Work (2017)
Shares a video on trauma-informed supervision in child welfare. The video provides resources aimed at improving the trauma-informed perspective and stresses the importance of the supervisor's role.
Teaching Motivational Interviewing to Child Welfare Social Work Students Using Live Supervision and Standardized Clients: A Randomized Controlled Trial (PDF - 617 KB)
Pecukonis, Greeno, Hodorowicz, Park, Ting, Moyers, Burry, et al. (2016)
Journal of the Society for Social Work and Research, 7(3)
Examines a training approach used to teach motivational interviewing to child welfare social work students using live client simulations and supervision.
Trauma-Informed Supervision: Historical Antecedents, Current Practice, and Future Directions (PDF - 2,038 KB)
The Clinical Supervisor, 37(1)
Reviews the current emphasis in the field on trauma-informed practice and discusses the application of trauma-informed principles in supervision.
Using the Secondary Traumatic Stress Core Competencies in Trauma-Informed Supervision (PDF - 2,324 KB)
National Child Traumatic Stress Network (2018)
Discusses the importance of quality supervision for child welfare workers at risk of secondary traumatic stress and presents a tool that supervisors can use as a developmental assessment to self-audit their competencies, identify areas of need, and find resources to help.