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Page URL: https://practice.orangatamariki.govt.nz/practice-standards/use-professional-supervision/use-professional-supervision-guidance/
Printed: 17/07/2019
Printed pages may be out of date. Please check this information is current before using it in your practice.

Last updated: 08/11/2017

Use professional supervision — guidance

Using professional supervision to critically reflect on our practice ensures decision-making is robust and builds the quality of my professional practice.

I will know I've achieved this standard when...

Oranga Tamariki has an overarching policy for professional supervision. This has been developed alongside the Oranga Tamariki Practice Framework.

The policy sets expectations for professional supervision practice for supervisors and practitioners within the organisation. For this practice standard, you will refer to the supervision policy as it provides detailed guidance for your involvement in, and provision of, supervision within Oranga Tamariki.

I come well prepared for supervision and am fully engaged with the supervision process in line with the Oranga Tamariki supervision policy

  • Professional supervision is a critical part of your practice. It provides you with guidance and advice and it supports you in critical reflection. It assists you to make quality professional judgements. In order to make the most of the opportunities provided through supervision, it is important that you prepare thoroughly before each supervision session.
  • There are many ways you can prepare for supervision. A few examples include:
    • Thinking about the key things you need to discuss during your supervision session prior to it beginning.
    • Setting up an agenda prior to the meeting with your priorities for discussion included.
    • Reflecting on the key objectives and the support you need for your practice decisions.
    • Organising and taking with you up-to-date records, case notes and other material to help inform any decision-making.
  • Supervision can also guide your professional growth and goals for practice. You can have discussions with your supervisor on particular topics relevant to your goals. You can prepare for these sessions by doing some prior reading and bringing a relevant article to discuss with your supervisor.
  • For further information on the benefits of supervision and other relevant information related to the supervision process, refer to the Oranga Tamariki Professional Supervision Policy.

I always ensure supervision helps me keep my practice child-centred in all my work

  • Putting the needs of tamariki first and challenging when things aren’t right for them is a critical part of your practice. Your goal is to ensure tamariki are in a loving whānau and communities where their oranga can be realised.
  • Supervision will help you stay focused on the safety, stability, security, wellness and development of the tamariki you work with. It can support you to make sure each tamaiti you work with is at the centre of your decision-making. It can help you focus on supporting and restoring the mana of te tamaiti, building on their strengths and helping them reach their aspirations. Their safety, sense of belonging, wellbeing and outcomes will be your priority.
  • For further information on how supervision can guide the focus of your practice, refer to the Oranga Tamariki Professional Supervision Policy.

I have utilised professional supervision for advice and guidance to challenge and support my practice and to create space for critical reflection

  • Supervision helps you to critically reflect on your practice. It can challenge you to think about your views of te tamaiti; their views, their needs and how to make decisions which best meet their interests. Supervision can occur in a variety of ways; in one-to-one individual sessions, in groups or with peers. The approach you use in critical reflection can also vary according to the needs you may have as a practitioner.
  • In preparing for your supervision sessions, consider using various models for critical reflection that best suit your needs. You could use prompt questions, discuss different scenarios for practice, use an appreciative enquiry approach or focus on feedback from tamariki, whānau and caregivers on specific aspects of your practice or decisions that have been made.
  • You may use supervision to reflect on your own wellbeing and to consider any impacts you may feel you need to manage or talk about with others, when working with tamariki who have experienced complex trauma. It is important not to bottle up pressures and tensions that can evolve as you work in stressful interactions. Supervision is an important tool for supporting you in managing these pressures.
  • For further information on how supervision can guide and support critical reflection on your practice, refer to the Oranga Tamariki Professional Supervision Policy.

I have utilised professional supervision to support safe cultural engagement and practice with Māori

  • Working effectively with Māori is a key focus for Oranga Tamariki. It is also a major focus for practice improvement within the Oranga Tamariki Practice Framework. The need to effectively meet the needs and build on the strengths of tamariki Māori and their whānau are noted throughout each of the Oranga Tamariki Practice Standards.
  • As part of your preparation for supervision, it is important to engage with relevant bi-cultural models for practice and to think about how these may influence your approaches to safe cultural engagement and practice with Māori. In order to develop your skills, knowledge and capability in this area, you must use cultural supervision and have input from Māori who can support your learning and critical reflection.
  • Critical reflection will help you identify any possible biases in your own cultural perceptions or approaches to practice that you may not intend or be aware of, when working with Māori. It will also help you identify ways in which you can enhance power-sharing in your relationships with Māori as you work together, building your skills and confidence further.
  • For further information on cultural supervision, refer to the Oranga Tamariki Professional Supervision Policy.

I have utilised professional supervision to support safe cultural engagement and practice with Pacific and other diverse cultures in Aotearoa

  • There are a range of things to consider when working with Pacific tamariki, families and communities who come from different Pacific nations and who may or may not have been born in New Zealand. Each Pacific nation has a unique culture, identity, language and set of customs and cultural practices that are central to their identity.
  • Tamariki may also connect or seek to connect with a range of different groups of people with different characteristics, and these may relate to their sexuality, gender identity, disabilities and so on.
  • In order to develop your skills, knowledge and capability in working with Pacific communities and other diverse cultural groups, you must use cultural supervision and have input from Pacific colleagues or community members who can support your learning and critical reflection across these diverse areas where required.
  • As part of your preparation for supervision, it is important to engage with relevant Pacific models for practice and models of practice for other diverse groups that are relevant in the work you are doing. It is important to think about how these may influence your approaches to safe cultural engagement with te tamaiti and others.
  • For further information on cultural supervision, refer to the Oranga Tamariki Professional Supervision Policy.

My supervision is evidenced in supervision records and cases

  • Supervision plays a critical role in supporting you to make decisions based on sound professional judgement. Discussions you have within supervision about decisions you are making for tamariki must be recorded with the rationale provided, and any other relevant information.
  • Your records provide insight into the information you have gathered and how you have interpreted that information to make decisions. It is important in this process to differentiate fact from opinion.
  • For further information on cultural supervision, refer to the Oranga Tamariki Professional Supervision Policy.