Welcome to the Supervisee Gateway!
ACSW's Supervisor Roster has been established to assist you in finding a supervisor to meet your 1500 hour supervised practice requirement. The Supervisee Gateway is designed to help you find clarity around the supervisor relationship and to make the most of the experience.
Note: You must be a regulated professional (RSW) before any supervised practice is credited. Upon completion of the practice hours, you can send a supervisor reference request through your member portal.
Search the Supervisor Roster
Practice Supervision can help you:
- Meet the 1500 hour supervised practice requirement
- Reduce stress
- Enhance your professional development
- Deal with challenging cases/situations
- Try out new ideas
- Deal with vicarious trauma
- Make better decisions
- Develop your professional practice
- make appropriate personal and professional decisions
- Overcome obstacles and challenges
I am ready to:
- Reflect on all aspects of my work.
- Share my thoughts, assumptions, and expectations about my client interactions.
- Share what I am feeling, how I am interpreting my feelings and my emotional response to client interactions.
- Reflect on what theoretical framework guided my interactions and interventions with the client, and what were my expectations/hopes.
- Discuss the interaction/interrelationship between myself, the client and wider system(s). (Why I think what happened, happened and how the therapeutic relationship impacts what occurred.)
- Share the theories I use to understand what is going on. (What guided my thinking and therapeutic intervention at the time, and if I considered alternatives.)
- Explore how else this event might be interpreted. (If I were to view this situation through a different lens how might I see things differently? How might this influence what I do next?)
- Test out various alternatives. (Summarize where to from here; what steps/actions are needed.)
When looking for a supervisor, ask yourself the following questions:
- Does the supervisor have the credentials to be able to provide practice supervision
- Does the supervisor have experience in my area of practice?
- Is the supervisor clear on the type of supervision I require (education, supportive)?
- Does the supervisor have the time available to help me meet the supervised practice requirements within my ideal timeframe?
- Is the supervisor prepared to work with me to develop the practice supervision contract?
- Will the supervisor challenge my thinking?
- Will the supervisor support reflective practice?
- Will I be able to work with the supervisor?
- Is the supervisor willing to provide references?
- Have declared their familiarity and working knowledge of:
- CASW Code of Ethics;
- ACSW Standards of Practice; and
- NASW Best Practice Standards for Supervision.
As part of the initial discussion with a prospective supervisor, it is important that you clarify your expectations for the practice supervision relationship.What I expect from the practice supervision relationship is . . .
What I expect from the practice supervision process is . . .
What I expect during a practice supervision session is . . .
What I expect from the evaluation process is . . .
Helpful Questions to ask the supervisor when developing the supervision contract.
- What can I expect from supervision under you?
- How will you provide evaluative feedback to me?
- How would you like me to provide YOU with feedback about YOUR style of supervision?
- How do you ensure my compliance with legal, ethical, and professional standards?
- What conflicts typically arise between you and your supervisees
To get the most out of a supervisory session, you can prepare by:
- Having a clear intention.
- Having an agreement on content and process.
- Reflecting on your theoretical approach and how your approach can be applied.
- Preparing topics to cover and/or case or practice issue particulars.
- How can I describe, in a few sentences, what occurred, what my involvement was, and what the inter-relatedness was of those involved?
- What is my question? What am I stuck on? What specifically do I need help with at this time?
- What were my thoughts, assumptions, and expectations about the interaction at that time? Are they different now, and if so, why?
- What was I feeling at the time? Are my feelings different now, and if so, why? How do I understand my feelings (then and now)?
- What was the emotional tone of the interaction with the client? Was it similar to or different from my usual experience with this client?
- How did I act in this situation? What choices did I make? What did I want to happen?
- Registered Social Worker?
- Clinical Social Worker?
- Private Practice?
The practice supervision contract helps prepare you for the supervisory experience. The contract is created collaboratively by the supervisor and supervisee and is designed to orient the supervisee to supervision as well as to serve as a roadmap for the entire experience. Practice Supervision contracts can highlight and clarify mutual goals and minimize differing agendas. Osborn and Davis (1996) recommend that supervision contracts include the following:
- Role expectations for both supervisor and supervisee
- Mutually agreeable goals and time frames
- An established method for resolving communication and other problems in the supervision sessions so that they can be addressed
- Details of when and how progress will be monitored and evaluated
- Established parameters to the supervisory relationship, with attention to boundaries and self-monitoring
The supervisee has a right to expect that a supervisor:
- Is a master teacher;
- Is able to guide learning by virtue of superior knowledge and skill;
- Is able to transmit knowledge that integrates theory and practice activity;
- Has in-depth knowledge that can be applied to practice with precision;
- Is able to apply research knowledge and methodology into practice;
- Is confident in his or her knowledge, but open to questioning;
- Is able to accept criticism without becoming defensive;
- Is fair, honest, candid, but supportive and patient;
- Can provide cases that are appropriate, but challenging;
- Is appropriate in appearance, courteous, and clear in communication;
- Is thorough in providing orientation to the agency or setting;
- Is prepared for conferences and avoids wasting precious supervision time;
- Is involved in the agency, the community, and the profession;
- Is knowledgeable about the agency, the community, and the profession;
- Is knowledgeable about the Code of Ethics and faithfully adheres to its tenets.
It is expected that supervisees will:
- Take that extra step in dealing with difficult cases;
- Take responsibility for the job and any organizational matters;
- Manifest a willingness to work hard;
- Freely talk about problem cases and situations;
- Be honest about how they are feeling;
- Show respect for their supervisor;
- Demonstrate basic interpersonal skills;
- Have a genuine interest in learning;
- Be motivated to learn;
- Be able to set goals with assistance;
- Be willing to discuss work and their thoughts about work;
- Present themselves as professionals;
- Be self-aware;
- Have integrity;
- Have a sense of respect for others;
When entering a supervisor-supervisee relationship in the context of practice supervision, it is important that both parties are clear on what each person's role is and what it is not. Hawkins and Shohet identified 10 primary focus' of supervision. In practice supervision under the ACSW's Supervision and Mentorship resource, the focus is on 1 through 6. Focus 7 to 10 are the responsibility of the supervisee's direct administrative supervisor.
- To provide a regular space for the supervisees to reflect upon the content and process of their work.
- To develop understanding and skills within the work.
- To receive information and another perspective concerning one's work.
- To receive both content and process feedback.
- To be validated and supported both as a person and as a worker.
- To ensure that as a person and as a worker on is not left to carry unnecessarily difficulties, problems, and projections alone.
- To have space to explore and express personal distress, re-stimulation, transference or counter transference that may be brought up by the work.
- To plan and utilize their personal professional resources better.
- To be pro-active rather than re-active.
- To ensure the quality of work.
Characteristics of healthy supervisory relationships include:
- Bidirectional trust, respect, and facilitation;
- A commitment to enthusiasm and energy for the relationship;
- An adequate amount of time committed to supervision;
- Sensitivity to the supervisee's developmental needs;
- Encouragement of autonomy;
- Sense of humor;
- Comfort in disclosing and discussing perceived errors;
- Clarity of expectations, and regular feedback;
- A non-defensive supervisory style; and
- A clear understanding of the rights and responsibilities of both the supervisee and supervisor.
Competencies for healthy and effective supervision include:
- Capacity to enhance supervisees self-confidence through support, appropriate autonomy, and encouragement;
- Capacity to model strong working alliances and develop strong supervisory alliances with the supervisee;
- Ability to dispense feedback, give constructive criticism, and provide formative and summative evaluation;
- Knowledge of multiple formats of supervision and skill in each format;
- Adaptability and flexibility;
- Excellent communication of case conceptualization, with a strong theoretical stance;
- Ability to maintain equilibrium and as appropriate, a sense of humor, even in the face of crisis;
- Ability to identify and bring up potential conflict situations or areas of discomfort with supervisee; and
- Openness to self-evaluation and to evaluation by supervisees and peers.
Every clinical social work supervisee has the right to:
- A supervisor who supervises consistently and at regular intervals;
- Growth-oriented supervision that respects personal privacy;
- Supervision that is technically sound and theoretically grounded;
- Be evaluated on criteria that are made clear in advance, and evaluations that are based on actual observation of performance; and
- A supervisor who is adequately skilled in clinical practice and trained in supervision practice.
Please Note: Participation in ACSW's Supervisor Roster is voluntary and the roster is intended to be a resource for post-graduate Social Workers seeking supervision.