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1.1.5 Children, Families and Community Health Supervision Policy


This chapter has been updated in February 2017 with further guidance regarding Management Monitoring.


  1. Introduction
  2. The Principles that Underpin Effective Supervision

    Appendix 1: Supervision Agreement

    Appendix 2: Supervision Note Template

    Appendix 3: Supervision Preparation and Tracking Tool

    Appendix 4: Supervision Case Discussion Document

    Appendix 5: Live Supervision

    Appendix 6: Swindon ‘Live’ Supervision Feedback template

    Appendix 7: Supervision Monitoring Form

    Appendix 8: Supervision Frequency and Management Decisions and Monitoringg

1. Introduction

Effective case management and reflective supervision are essential tools in safeguarding children and young people and to ensure we provide high quality services.

Managers, supervisors and practitioners are responsible for ensuring that services meet the best possible standards and have the most positive impact on children, young people and their families.

This Supervision Policy is part of a continuum of policies and processes to ensure that staff in Children, Families and Community Health’s professional journey within the Department is supported; from recruitment to exit interview!

All staff within Children, Families and Community Health is to be supported through:

  • An Induction programme; inclusive if SBC’s policies and procedures;
  • Probation period;
  • Support and Development within post (Supervision; Appraisals etc.)
  • Exit Interview.

2. The Principles that Underpin Effective Supervision

The Principles that underpin effective supervision are:

Principle 1: Shared Expectations

Supervision is an activity where organisational, professional and personal issues can be addressed. The Children, Families and Community Health Service are committed to delivering effective supervision on a regular basis to every member of staff, students, agency and permanent members of staff. Bespoke supervision will be provided to meet the requirements of each professional practitioner in order to meet standards for registration, wherever applicable. 

There are a number of outcomes to be achieved. It is important that outcomes are agreed within the supervision agreement (see Appendix 1: Supervision Agreement) and at the start of each supervision session. Outcomes include:-

  • The supervisor being clear about the competence and confidence of the supervisee in undertaking their roles and responsibilities;
  • The supervisor and supervisee know that there has been thorough reflections and critical thinking about cases which results in a joint understanding about children and young people’s safety, what is working well, what is not working well and what actions are required, by whom and by when;
  • The supervisor has fulfilled the responsibility of duty of care for the well-being of workers;
  • The supervisee leaves the supervision session feeling that they have been listened to and valued – and feeling motivated and energised.

Principle 2: Preparation and participation

Effective supervision occurs when both the supervisor and supervisee prepare well for the session:-

For the supervisor this includes

  • Implementing supervision in the context of SBC policies, performance management and workforce development standards and expectations;
  • Utilising, developing and agreeing written supervision agreements including frequency of sessions which are reviewed on a regular basis, and at least annually;
  • Booking supervisions at least 12 months in advance;
  • Ensuring there is a standardised agenda available for use as a reference and guide for supervisor and supervisee, as appropriate;
  • Undertaking audits to inform agenda items on performance management;
  • Having performance management data and information available to discuss;
  • Having relevant policies and procedures and other information available to signpost or discuss;
  • Wherever possible, to have electronic equipment available so that the supervision notes can be typed contemporaneously;
  • Considering what outcomes are essential or desirable from the supervision session.

For the supervisee this includes

  • Considering what outcomes are essential and desirable from the supervision session;
  • Preparing the ‘Supervision Preparation and Tracking tool’ (please see Appendix 3: Supervision Preparation and Tracking Tool);
  • Getting into supervision mode in order to fully participate.

Principle 3: Expectations of the Supervisor

  • Supervisors implement supervision systems and processes;
  • Supervision can take place in planned or unplanned, formal, informal, individual or group way;
  • Ensuring supervision records and agreed decisions are accurate and completed promptly in line with SBC Recording Policy;
  • Enable workers to reflect on supervision issues and act on outcomes;
  • Monitor and review own supervision practice and learning, reflecting on the processes and implement improvements to supervision;
  • Identify wider issues and raise them appropriately in the organisation and with other stakeholders;
  • Enable access to specialist supervision, support, advice or consultation as required. Specialist supervision – can include peer, therapeutic or clinical supervision;
  • SMART plans are detailed and agreed;
  • An agreed and signed copy of the formal supervision record is kept confidentially by both parties;
  • All supervisory discussions must be recorded as agreed at time and verified by the manager;
  • Frequency will be determined by the practitioners professional development stage as recommended in supervision agreement;
  • The basic requirement for all practitioners is at least 4 weekly supervision which includes relevant case discussions.

Principle 4: Develop, maintain and review effective supervision relationships

Performance criteria:

  1. Create a positive environment for workers to develop and review their practice and for supervisees to actively participate;
  2. Clarify boundaries and expectations of supervision, including confidentiality;
  3. Ensure relationships are conducted in an open and accountable way;
  4. To identify and overcome blocks to performance, such as work conflicts and other pressures;
  5. To understand the emotional impact of their work and seek appropriate specialist support if needed;
  6. Recognise diversity and demonstrate anti-discriminatory practice in the supervision relationship;
  7. Give and receive constructive feedback on the supervisory relationship and supervision practice including the effectiveness and impact;
  8. Audit and develop own skills and knowledge.

Positive environment – the environment for supervision should be:

  • Private;
  • Free of interruptions;
  • A space that facilitates communication and feedback;
  • An agreed time and place.
Duty of care – the employer’s duty of care means that managers and supervisors need to consider and address physical health and well-being of staff. Supervisees have duty to inform managers and supervisors of any concerns in relation to physical health and well-being which may impact on their performance.

Principle 5: Develop, maintain and review practice and performance through supervision

Performance criteria:

  1. Ensure workloads are effectively managed and reviewed;
  2. Reflect on confidence and competence to assess, plan, implement and review work;
  3. Supervisor and workers are clear about accountability and the limits of their individual and organisational authority and duties;
  4. Identify risks and take appropriate action;
  5. Obtain and give timely feedback on workers’ practice, including feedback from people who use services;
  6. Identify learning needs and integrate them within development plans;
  7. Identify opportunities for learning and development;
  8. Enable multi-disciplinary, integrated and collaborative working.

Any difficulties and disagreements are resolved or are attempted to be resolved between supervisor and supervisee. However, if this is not successful escalate to next line management concerned, to use other organisation policies, procedures and resources.

Principle 6: Quality Monitoring Processes

  • Supervision compliance in relation to frequency, duration and signed copies, on a monthly basis to be reviewed at Quality Performance Board;
  • Qualitative supervision audits will be undertaken using key principles from this policy on at least an annual basis.


Appendix 1: Supervision Agreement

Appendix 2: Supervision Note Template

Appendix 3: Supervision Preparation and Tracking Tool

Appendix 4: Supervision Case Discussion Document

Appendix 5: Live Supervision

Appendix 6: Swindon ‘Live’ Supervision Feedback template

Appendix 7: Supervision Monitoring Form

Appendix 8: Supervision Frequency and Management Decisions and Monitoring