Practice supervisor KSS 6: purposeful and effective social work

Last updated: 23 December 2019

Teenage boy with social worker

Photo: ilike/AdobeStcok

This page sets out the knowledge and skills listed under practice supervisor KSS 6 (purposeful and effective social work) in the Department for Education’s post-qualifying standard: knowledge and skills statement for child and family practice supervisors (KSS). Against this, we have mapped Community Care Inform guides, research, learning tools and other resources to help supervisors meet and evidence this part of the statement for CPD or NAAS preparation. The links to the resources are in blue; click to follow them to the page you’re interested in.

 What does the statement say?

 Resources to help you

The practice supervisor will be able to:

  • Implement effective strategies for ensuring throughput of work. Frequently review the requirement for continued involvement so that cases are closed in a timely manner and that families have an appropriate and long-term support plan where that is required, and ensure that no child or family is left unnoticed in the system
  • Ensure practitioners adopt an approach to practice which is proportionate to identified risk and need.
  • Use supervision processes to challenge the balance of authoritative intervention and collaborative engagement to determine how current practice is achieving the best long-term outcomes for children and families.
  • Use focused questioning with practitioners to clarify the direction of work, and identify whether practitioners need to adopt a more reflective and curious approach, or respond with greater pace and assertion.
  • Ensure that family narratives are sought and listened to, that all relevant family members, including fathers, are engaged in shaping plans and supported to carry these out, and that practice empowers families to make positive changes.
  • Ensure methods and tools used are based on the best evidence, that progress is frequently reviewed and that the social work plan is adjusted accordingly.
  • Reflect upon and review the welfare and support needs of children and families and be alert to evidence of actual or likely significant harm ensuring that identified risks are managed and new risks identified, assessed and addressed.
Managing risk in social work
Helps managers promote a balanced approach to risk and identify when practitioners are missing signs of harm or are overly anxious about cases.Supervision knowledge and practice hub

Provides a range of resources to support you in making the most of supervision time, including videos comparing a more reflective to a more task-focused approach and how to focus on and clarify the key dilemmas affecting the practitioners’ approach (see Shake up your supervision and 13 questions to use in supervision).Audio: using attachment theory to support families

considers how to give parents the experience of being understood and show that you will treat them with empathy.These guides can help you develop practitioners’ core skills for safeguarding, supporting and empowering children and families:

Working with fathers in child protection: lessons from research looks at the barriers to working with fathers and how to overcome them.

The benefits A-Z and guides to housing issues can assist practitioners looking for practical advice on meeting welfare and support needs.

Knowledge and practice hubs on neglect, CSE, radicalisation, FGM, domestic abuse and child sexual abuse contain a range of written and multimedia resources to help practitioners identify, assess and manage different safeguarding risks and meet children and families’ support needs.

The looked-after childrenfostering, adoption and working with disabled children knowledge and practice hubs help practitioners support children, families and carers in long term work and deal with difficulties such as adoption disruption, placement transitions, service closures and potential significant harm risks.

Learn on the go podcast: motivational interviewing
This podcast includes example conversations using a motivational interviewing (MI) approach to support people to make changes in their behaviour. Key learning points and a written transcript are included if you prefer to learn by reading.

Discussing the learning from serious case reviews as a team or group using these resources may be also be useful.

Links to resource maps for other parts of the KSS:

You might be interested in…

Online resource map for all parts of the KSS for practice supervisors
PDF version of the resource map for all parts of the practice supervisor KSS
Quick guide to the knowledge and skills statements and their role in the ASYE, NAAS and ongoing professional development
Map of resources for the child and family practitioner KSS