Developing a Culture of Excellent Social Work Practice

'It is important that leadership in child and family social work is aligned with ‘the mission, values, and goals of the social work profession’ (Peters 2017).

Leaders are influential because of their personality, behaviour, and beliefs: not just because they have formal organisational authority. Leadership behaviours filter down into children and families' lives.

‘Social justice is at the heart of sound social work leadership and management’
(Webster 2010)

This section focuses on leadership because it is a very significant aspect of your role – and you are a very significant part of the system.

The resources in this section are organised into two areas:

Each area contains a knowledge briefing for practice supervisors and learning tools.

The learning resources in this section will prompt you to:

  • Seek out regular opportunities to observe your supervisees working in practice and give feedback on this in order to progressively develop their skills in practice with children and families.
  • Learn how to use coaching skills with your supervisees and reflect on the benefits of using coaching skills in supervision.
  • Identify how you can build a culture of appreciation and reflection on effective practice in your team which celebrates success.
  • Reflect on how you can model and promote leadership skills in your role as practice supervisor.

Briefing for Senior Managers

This short briefing is written specifically for senior managers and strategic leads. It presents a summary of key recommendations about how senior leaders can support practice supervisors to become influential leaders in social work.

Webinar icon Webinar - Using coaching skills

This webinar with Suzanne Triggs introduces the key principles of coaching and explains how practice supervisors can use coaching skills to support staff development in supervision. She also shares findings from her doctoral research 'From transmission to transformation: an exploration of how the use of coaching is experienced by social workers and service users'.

A learning tool about coaching is also provided below.

Using coaching skills

This tool links with the webinar and gives you additional information about how you can use coaching skills in supervision.