Singapore University of Social Sciences

Theories and Principles of Supervision for Social Work

Theories and Principles of Supervision for Social Work (SWK507)


Theories and Principles of Supervision for Social Work presents both models as well as techniques for supervising social workers and staff individually and in a group. Skills such as goal setting, building the supervision relationship and evaluation are taught. Students will learn specific supervision strategies like teaching, mentoring, coaching and consulting. Included is an overview of the functions and skills of a supervisor: management, education, support/enabling and mediation. The course also covers some of the fundamentals of human resource development including staff evaluation and training. Developing an effective accountability structure, personnel policies and safety issues will also be discussed.

Level: 5
Credit Units: 5
Presentation Pattern: EVERY REGULAR SEMESTER


  • History of social work supervision
  • Definitions of Supervision & Present-day Challenges of Balancing Supervisory Functions
  • Use of Self In Supervision
  • Values and Ethics Governing the Supervisory Relationship
  • Developmental Stages Supervisees and Supervisors Undergo
  • Contracting for A Successful Supervisory Relationship
  • Theories and Models of Supervision
  • Managing Cultural & Other Diversities in Supervision
  • Managing the Transition into The Supervisory Role
  • Dual and Multiple Relationships Within Supervision
  • Dynamics of Power & Power Games Within Supervision
  • Managing Stresses & Preventing Burn Out

Learning Outcome

  • Analyse the theoretical underpinnings of supervision.
  • Evaluate the functions, structure, and process of supervision.
  • Apply skills and activities for carrying out the supervisory functions.
  • Examine values and ethics associated with the supervisory role.
  • Discuss appropriate use of self in the supervisory role.
  • Design a supervision session.
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