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Practice supervisor

Support the practice and decision-making of social workers and develop their skills as individuals and teams
Other names
Advanced practitioner, assistant team manager

What you'll do

As a practice supervisor you'll:

  • support social workers and practitioners to improve their practice and positively impact the lives of children and families 
  • provide supervision and quality assurance on assessments, care plans and court statements
  • mentor social workers and provide space for them to reflect on their work 
  • model good practice, share knowledge and provide practical help to social workers 
  • review and monitor individual caseloads to ensure timely and effective service delivery
  • give feedback to social workers and support their well-being
  • work with multi-agency partners within the child welfare system
  • work with team managers to develop action plans and strategies to improve social work practice

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • leadership skills to guide and inspire social workers to deliver effective child and family support
  • knowledge of risk assessment and safeguarding procedures
  • knowledge of legislation and policies relating to the welfare of children
  • the ability to build effective relationships with colleagues, families and multi-agency partners
  • the ability to set and track development plans for individual social workers
  • knowledge of child development theories and a range of social work interventions
  • analytical skills to evaluate complex cases and identify the needs of children and families

How to become one

To become a practice supervisor you must:

  • have completed a degree, apprenticeship or graduate training scheme in social work 
  • be registered with Social Work England
  • ideally have at least 4 years’ experience as a qualified child and family social worker 
  • have experience of mentoring and supporting others to improve their practice

It’s helpful to have experience as a practice educator, providing guidance and support to social work students during their placements.

Career paths and progression

With experience you could:

  • move into a senior practitioner role and specialise in an area such as child protection or adoption 
  • progress into a management role such as team manager or service manager 
  • become a practice educator and train and mentor students 
  • research or study for a PhD 

You can develop your practice and leadership skills by doing the Pathway 1: practice supervisors programme. It’s funded by the Department for Education and provided by Frontline.

Current opportunities

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