A core function of supervision is to assess worker knowledge, skills, and abilities against the mission, values, and practice standards of the agency, with the goal of strengthening worker performance. This includes assessing what additional training, coaching, and mentoring is needed to help workers set and achieve job and career goals and engaging the worker in this process. The following resources address aspects of improving worker performance, including State and local examples.
Managing Social Services Staff for Excellence: Five Keys to Exceptional Supervision
Provides tools and information to help administrators and supervisors improve the quality of care delivered by staff to agency clients. A step-by-step process for creating practices to combat negative practices is also included.
Performance Management: Linking Individual Performance to Agency Outcomes Training Curriculum
Institute for Public Sector Innovation, Muskie School of Public Service, University of Southern Maine (2009)
Helps supervisors promote the use of consistent performance management, evaluation, and professional development to achieve agency outcomes. The training addresses assessment tools to analyze worker strengths and weaknesses and effective performance evaluation reviews.
Promoting Supervisory Practice Change in Public Child Welfare: Lessons from University/Agency Collaborative Research in Four States
Collins-Carago & Millar (2012)
Child Welfare, 91(1)
Describes qualitative findings from a mixed-methods study regarding lessons learned from research and demonstration projects in four States that examined the effectiveness of new clinical supervision models on practice, organizational, and client outcomes. Themes from the focus groups in the projects are discussed and offer direction for States and localities wishing to shift frontline supervision to a more clinical model within the public child welfare setting.
A Study of the Relationships Among Effective Supervision, Organizational Culture Promoting Evidence-Based Practice, and Worker Self-Efficacy in Public Child Welfare
Collins-Carmago & Royse
Journal of Public Child Welfare, 4(1), 2010
Provides a secondary analysis of survey data to examine the relationship between effective supervision, organizational culture, and self-efficacy. Also, supports further research into promising organizational strategies for performance and outcome improvement.
A Supervisor's Guide to Consulting Developing Worker Competence in Safety Intervention (PDF - 243 KB)
ACTION for Child Protection (2007)
Provides CPS supervisors with a way to implement a consultation process and methods that assist workers and result in effective safety assessment and the creation of sufficient safety plans.
Supervision and Documentation
In Social Work Documentation: A Guide to Strengthening Your Case Recording
Discusses the role of supervisors in ensuring social workers understand documentation requirements as well as the documentation of social work supervision sessions and issues specific to supervisors.
Supervising and Supporting Staff
In Home-Based Services for High-Risk Youth: Assessment, Wraparound Planning, and Service Delivery
Discusses supervising home- and community-based practitioners in a manner that parallels the philosophical foundations of the service delivery process itself.
Supporting Quality Contacts Through Supervisor-Worker Coaching (PDF - 215 KB)
Capacity Building Center for States (2017)
Offers one-on-one coaching techniques aimed at enhancing the quality of caseworker contacts with children, youth, and families. This tip sheet presents coaching steps and tips that supervisors can use to help workers strengthen their skills, build confidence, and make progress toward identified goals.
Developing Worker Competency
Protective Services Training Institute of Texas (2005)
Includes a scripted curricula and materials for teaching a course for supervisors to improve management techniques and to enhance staff retention.
The Importance of Including Supervisors When Evaluating Child Welfare Workers' Training
Mason, LaPorte, & Frankel
Professional Development: The International Journal of Continuing Social Work Education, 6, 2004
Identifies differences between supervisors and workers regarding the perceived effects of a professional development program provided to employees of New York City's Administration of Children's Services.
Supervising for Excellence in Oregon: Final Report
Portland State University Child Welfare Partnership (2004)
Discusses the activities and accomplishments of a federally funded program designed to develop an effective supervisory curriculum for training child welfare supervisors in Oregon.
Supervisor's Guide to Implementing Family Centered Practice (PDF - 819 KB)
Mississippi Division of Family and Children's Services (2005)
Assists Mississippi child welfare supervisors in implementing family-centered practices in their agencies.
Supervisors' Strategic Plan 2010–2014 (PDF - 2,222 KB)
Alaska Department of Health and Social Services & Office of Children's Services (2011)
Describes the current culture of child welfare supervision in Alaska and discusses the plan to enhance supervision skills by defining and designing successful supports and staff development strategies.