‘Ethics Are Messy’: Supervision as a Tool to Help Social Workers Manage Ethical Challenges
JournalEthics and Social Welfare
PublisherTaylor and Francis Inc.
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractSupervision is a critical component of professional socialisation for social workers that helps them develop skills to practice in complex private and public organisations whose values may be at odds with social work ethics. Research on the relationship between supervision and how social workers navigate ethical challenges is limited and has typically focused on managing the resultant stress. This qualitative study reports on the perspectives of 23 social workers representing diverse work contexts and experience levels who were asked broadly about their experiences managing ethical challenges in practice. After researchers engaged in an iterative process of open and axial coding of interview transcripts, six subthemes were identified within the primary theme of supervision: the importance of quality supervision, early supervisory experiences, components of supervision, interprofessional aspects of supervision, power dynamics, and the function and impact of supervision. Implications of the results for research and practice are described, including the need for supervisor training and support, exploration of supervision power dynamics, and how to balance creating a safe supervisory environment with need for accountability.
Identifier to cite or link to this itemhttp://hdl.handle.net/10713/16834