CWLA’s National Blueprint for Excellence in Child Welfare states that each employee and volunteer should have and report to a supervisor who has the skills, knowledge, and ability to give appropriate guidance for the individual’s needs, position, and responsibilities.
Supervisors are the key link between management, leadership, and the workers who deliver services to children and families. Supervisors, typically, are former workers who are promoted to a supervisory position and provided little advanced training, guidance, or support. High-quality supervision is pivotal in supporting the needs of staff, and in crisis or emergency situations.
Agencies have a role in strengthening and supporting the workforce through training, ongoing professional development, mentorship, peer learning opportunities for supervisors, and addressing secondary traumatic stress experienced by staff as a result of the work they do. The quality of supervision in child welfare affects staff performance and outcomes for children, youth, and families. An entity’s effectiveness is achieved when supervisors and their staff have a clear mission: high-quality supports and services and positive outcomes for children and families.