Practice supervisor KSS 7: emotionally intelligent practice supervision

Last updated 8 June 2023

biscuits with different emotion faces

Photo: vitaliyma/Fotolia

This page sets out the knowledge and skills listed under practice supervisor KSS 7 (emotionally intelligent practice supervision) 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 career and continuing professional development. 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:

  • Recognise how different relationships evoke different emotional responses, which impact upon the effectiveness of social work practice and provide responsive, high quality individual supervision.
  • Use mechanisms such as peer supervision and group case consultation to help identify bias, shift thinking and the approach to case work in order to generate better outcomes for children and families.
  • Recognise and articulate the dilemmas and challenges faced by practitioners and use this expertise and experience to guide, assist and support the provision of services.
  • Identify emotional barriers affecting practice and recognise when to step in and proactively support individuals.
  • Promote reflective thinking to drive more effective discussions so that reasoned and timely decision-making can take place.
  • Demonstrate a high level of resilience within pressured environments, be attuned to the effect of high emotion and stress and respond in calm, measured and pragmatic ways.
  • Reflect upon the confidence of practitioners and adapt management and leadership style according to the needs of individuals and the organisation.
  • Protect practitioners from unnecessary bureaucratic or hierarchical pressures and have in place strategies to help manage the root causes of stress and anxiety. Continually energise and reaffirm commitment to support.
Talking about emotion in supervision
Tips to help you discuss emotional responses to practice in supervision, with examples based on real life sessions.Group supervision: quick guide
How to use group supervision effectively to avoid bias and generate better outcomes, avoiding pitfalls such as “groupthink”.Learn as a group: analysis and decision-making provides a model for case consultation in the team to generate new hypotheses and address errors in reasoning such as confirmation bias.Developing emotional resilience
Helps supervisors consider the emotional impact of practice and how to make the most of supervision and peer coaching. It also looks at coping skills and maintaining appropriate empathy to avoid burnout.

Use of self and emotional intelligence: quick guide for practice educators
Looks at ways to support students in understanding their own emotional make-up and their personal and professional selves.

How your attachment history affects your practice: quick guide
Burnout, secondary trauma and compassion fatigue: a guide to support managers and practitioners
These guides consider what might be influencing practitioners’ emotional responses to work and how to support them during difficulties.

Critical reflection: how to develop it in your practice supports you to promote reflective thinking.

Managing stress – a manager’s guide
Designed to help you manage stress in both yourself and your team, this guide helps you understand the particular pressures that cause stress in your specific context, with practical exercises and ideas to care for yourself and staff.

Case study: ‘managing upwards’ explores strategies one manager used to protect frontline workers from pressure from above and reduce sources of stress.

Learn on the go podcast – supervision: in this episode, principal social worker Tom Stibbs and lecturer and research David Wilkins discuss what makes for ‘good supervision’, the role of reflection and how it might help outcomes for the children and families social workers work with.

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 and ongoing professional development
Map of resources for the child and family practitioner KSS