Impact News

Responding to Violence, Suicide, Psychosis and Trauma

Supervision lacking on emotional issues

Supervision lacking on emotional issues, survey finds
Kirsty McGregor, Community Care
Tuesday 12 April 2011 12:12

Nearly three-quarters of social workers (71%) do not feel supervision covers the emotional issues that arise in practice, a survey has shown.

BASW – The College of Social Work released the survey results to launch a consultation on its draft supervision policy, published today. This stipulates that supervision should enable social workers to manage the emotional impact of their work.

It comes a week after children’s minister Tim Loughton told Community Care that employers should “debrief” social workers after particularly traumatic child protection cases to avoid burnout.

“Supervision is an absolutely vital element to successful practice, to social workers’ confidence, morale and, in some cases, mental health,” said BASW policy officer Fran McDonnell.

Two in five survey respondents said they received formal supervision every two months or less, and 11% rarely or never received it.

“This survey shows that many social workers are not getting even the most basic of requirements from employers, which jeopardises the quality of support they can provide to families most in need,” McDonnell added.

BASW’s supervision policy recommends that every social worker, no matter how experienced, should receive formal supervision at least once a month. Supervision should be weekly and then fortnightly for newly qualified staff.

The Social Work Reform Board recommended the same frequency in its draft supervision framework for social workers in England, published in December 2010.

More than half of the online survey of 177 BASW members do not feel their supervision covers accountability issues or personal development and training.

Community Care’s social work contract states that social workers should receive a minimum monthly professional supervision of at least 90 minutes.

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Adolescents At Risk Of Developing Psychosis Benefit From Early And Network-Oriented Care

Date: 15 May 2009 – 3:00

Family and network oriented, stress-reducing care improves level of overall functioning and mental health in adolescents at risk of developing psychosis, suggests a recent Finnish study. Jorvi Early psychosis Recognition and Intervention (JERI) project at Helsinki University Central Hospital (HUCH), Jorvi Hospital, Finland, is a project with an early intervention team for adolescents at risk of developing first-episode psychosis. As developing psychosis has been suggested to be a result of a combination of acute life stressors and trait-like vulnerability to psychosis, the intervention is based on the idea of multiprofessional, need-adapted, community-, family- and network-oriented, stress-reducing, overall functioning supporting and low-threshold care. The JERI team meets with adolescents at ages 12-20 in their natural surroundings, e.g. at school or at home, together with their parents and community co-worker, who has originally contacted the JERI team because of unclear mental health problems. The aim of the team is to recognize potential risk cases and reduce the stress level by family and network intervention. A follow-up study was performed to test how presented intervention will help adolescents at risk. Data was collected between January 2007 and May 2008. During the intervention, mean scores rose statistically significantly on overall functioning and scores on quality of life, depression, anxiety and pre-psychotic symptoms decreased statistically significantly, showing an improvement in overall functioning and mental health in adolescents at risk of developing first-episode psychosis. Adolescents did not receive other therapy or any antipsychotic medication. “JERI- intervention seems to improve level of overall functioning and support mental health in adolescents at risk of developing first-episode psychosis, even though further study with larger number of subjects, with a proper control group and with a longer follow-up time is needed”, says Dr. Niklas Granö, the leader of the research.

Results are published in the journal Early Intervention in Psychiatry. Reference: Niklas Granö, Marjaana Karjalainen, Jukka Anto, Arja Itkonen,Virve Edlund and Mikko Roine: An intervention to improve level of overall functioning and mental condition of adolescents at high risk of developing first-episode psychosis in Finland. Early Intervention in Psychiatry (2009; 3: 94-98) Source: Niklas Grano, Ph.D. University of Helsinki

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