Effective supervisors are an essential component in the successful outcomes of children and families involved in the child welfare system. In addition to front-line worker competencies, the Minnesota Child Welfare Practice Framework provides eight areas of competency for supervisors. The competencies that guide the practice of supervisors bring consistency and set high expectations for leadership in the field to support staff in their complex work with children and families.
Given that supervisors must be able to integrate numerous skills and areas of knowledge, the Supervisor Competencies have been written to reflect the complex and often multi-dimensional nature of supervision in child welfare practice. In this article we will focus on the first competency: Supervision.
Minnesota identifies three main types of supervision: educative, supportive, and administrative. Educative supervision supports the workforce in the development of the knowledge, skills, and abilities/attitudes required to successfully meet the expectations of the job. An example competency of educative supervision is: Understands and can model and teach necessary elements of assessment, decision making, case planning, and case process to staff.
Supportive supervision supports the workforce through understanding and addressing issues related to personal, organizational, and systemic stressors that impact job performance, organizational climate, workforce stability, and child and family outcomes. An example competency of supportive supervision is: Understands the value of supporting expression, and can recognize emotion-laden issues or situations and handle them with sensitivity.
Administrative supervision supports the workforce through building effective practice for families served through an orientation to policy, the short and long-term goals of the agency, workload, budget, and additional operational realities. An example competency of administrative supervision is: Understands and clarifies roles and responsibilities of participants in the child welfare system, including tribal agencies.
Refer to pages 16-18 of the Minnesota Child Welfare Practice Framework to review all competencies related to supervision, and consider ways to develop your own knowledge and skills. Following are several resources to explore.
- Administrative Supervision (Child Welfare Information Gateway)
- Coaching in Supervision (National Child Welfare Workforce Institute)
- Supporting the Virtual Workforce (National Child Welfare Workforce Institute)
The Minnesota Child Welfare Practice Framework is a series of competencies that help child welfare professionals define and demonstrate their knowledge, skills, and understanding across a number of different practice areas. In Minnesota, child welfare practice is guided by this practice framework, which offers outcomes, values, principles and skills necessary to promote child safety, permanency, and well-being.