Alberta College of Social Workers

The role of the supervisor is to: 

  • Provide all or a portion of the 1500 hours of the practice supervision that a member requires for registration on the General Registry. 
  • Nurture and support continual learning.
  • Help the supervisee become aware of and deal with their reactions to the emotional intensity of their work with clients. 
  • Promote insight into practice through reflection.
  • Support knowledge acquisition.
  • Model professional use of supervision as an inherent aspect of social work practice.

The activities of supervision are captured by three primary domains that may overlap: administrative, educational and supportive. 

  • Administrative supervision is synonymous with management. It is the implementation of administrative methods that enable social workers to provide effective services to clients. Administrative supervision is oriented toward agency policy or organizational demands and focuses on a supervisee's level of functioning on the job and work assignment.
  • Educational supervision focuses on professional concerns and related to specific cases. It helps supervisees better understand social work philosophy, become more self-aware and refine their knowledge and skills;. It may include activities where supervisee is guided to learn about social work practice processes including assessment, treatment and intervention, resolution of ethical issues, evaluation and termination of services.
  • Supportive supervision assists with development of sense of professional identity through a climate of safety and trust.