Presentation on theme: "PROFESSIONAL SUPERVISION PRACTICE UNDER NEW PUBLIC MANAGEMENT: A STUDY OF THE PERSPECTIVES OF PROBATION OFFICERS AND SERVICE MANAGERS IN THE COMMUNITY."— Presentation transcript:
Research Objectives 4 To investigate the phenomenon of professional supervision practice in terms of the philosophy, experience, aspirations and expectations of both practitioners and managers, in the environment of new public management in the Community Probation Service. 4 Underpinning the primary research objective, as specified above, were the three major research questions. 4 What are the participants’ understandings of professional supervision? 4 What are the participants’ recent experiences of professional supervision? 4 What do the participants want from supervision?
Methodology 4 Qualitative research design 4 The approach used focussed on the participants’ construction, experience and desires in regard to professional supervision, with each participant encouraged to voice their perspective on the subject 4 The methodology employed makes no claims to positivist scientific truth, and is interpretivist 4 The sample was 10 Probation Officers and 5 Service Managers purposefully selected from one of the three Community Probation Regions.
Key Findings- Philosophy of Professional Supervision 4 A clear philosophy of professional supervision was lacking amongst the participants. 4 Participants knowledge and understanding of professional supervision was at an elementary level. 4 The philosophy of the participants did not align with the philosophy of the organisation
Key Findings - Experiences of Professional Supervision 4 The participants had minimal recent experience of professional supervision 4 The participants’ experience of the agency’s professional supervision policy development and implementation raised for them issues related to the credibility of the policy and its effectiveness 4 The participants’ experience of the context was paradoxical in that, on the one hand, the context revealed an increased demand for professional supervision, whilst on the other hand, it revealed a reduced ability to supply professional supervision 4 The participants’ experience of the context was paradoxical in that, on the one hand, the context revealed an increased demand for professional supervision, whilst on the other hand, it revealed a reduced ability to supply professional supervision.
Key Findings - Aspirations and Expectations 4 The participants expected professional supervision to assist them to work more effectively with clients/staff. 4 They expected good committed supervisors that would develop and support them. 4 They also expected the agency to support professional supervision through the provision of sufficient resources, guidance and quality assurance in terms of a clear accreditation process for supervisors, and through the establishment of a learning/developmental organisational culture that supported professional supervision
Implications of Key Findings 4 Field staff and management need to be socialised into professional supervision. 4 The professional supervision programme as currently implemented is unlikely to be successful. 4 Professional supervision needs to be focused upon persons and their environments, rather than agency focused practice
Socialisation of Staff 4 Organisational 4 Professional Supervision introduced without any formative experiences of professional supervision to draw on. 4 Need for agency to develop consistency of purpose in regard to supervision. 4 The professional supervision programme needs to be reviewed 4 Professional 4 Low levels of professionalisation in the probation service. 4 Agency shaped the development of the policy minimal consultation with the profession. 4 Role and place of the Social Work Profession within CPS- challenges for practitioners, managers, agency and professional body.
Professional Supervision Programme 4 Driven by expediency and efficiency rather than best practice. 4 Lack of a best practice supervision culture in CPS. 4 Supervision likely to focus on supporting the worker, rather than facilitating best client practice. 4 It is also likely to be influenced by the parties’ personalities and issues, rather than practice content. 4 Direct observation of client practice is unlikely to occur with supervisors basing their supervision practice upon reports of work and review of file notes. 4 The challenge for the agency is to develop a culture and structures that supports best practice. 4 The professional supervision project was not a high managerial or political priority
Persons in Their Environments Supervision Practice 4 The key findings in regard to the participants’ aspirations and expectations imply a need for professional supervision practice that is focused upon persons in their environments, rather than supervision that is dominated by the organisational context. 4 This requires that supervision be reconceptualised in terms of professional practice, rather than in organisational or management terms. 4 It also recognises the influence that the various contexts (e.g., personal, practice, team, managerial, organisational, professional and political) have upon the principal actors (clients, supervisee, supervisor, and agency).
Persons in Their Environments Supervision Practice - cont. 4 Persons in their environments supervision practice works in the same manner that social work practice does; it assesses and intervenes in the intrapersonal, personal, interpersonal, and social systems arenas. In doing so, it also addresses, mediates and reconstructs the effects that the ecological environment has on the person and their situation. 4 In terms of actual supervision practice, the persons in their environments approach stimulates critical reflective supervision because it recognises the impact of the social and political context upon clients, workers and the organisation. 4 This type of critical reflection is more likely to result in intervention that attends to clients’, supervisees’ and agencies’ social realities, and their perception of this reality. It is also likely that the interventions made are more effective because they are constructed on the basis of thorough multi-level assessment.
Professional supervision as it is traditionally defined by the social work profession itself is a neccessity and cannot be replaced by managerial- oriented solutions (Cockburn, 1994:37).