The features and use of mentoring as an activity in supervision of newly qualified social workers

Cloete, Veronica (2012-03)

Thesis (M Social Work)--Stellenbosch University, 2012.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Mentoring, which is described as an activity in social work supervision, is promoted to assist with the recruitment and retention of newly qualified social workers. However research relating to the execution of mentoring within the context of social work supervision is limited. Also, a lack of supervision of newly qualified as well as existing social workers has resulted in a critical shortage of social workers in South Africa. This in turn decreases the quality of social work service rendering to communities in South Africa. In an effort to reverse the aforementioned circumstances, the South African government introduced the “Recruitment and Retention Strategy for Social Workers” in 2006. The Recruitment and Retention Strategy for Social Workers reaffirmed the value of supervision for social workers as well as the utilisation of mentoring in order to provide adequate support to newly qualified as well as existing social workers. Hence the study was undertaken, first to provide an overview of social work supervision and second, to explore the use of mentoring in the context of social work supervision. A combined qualitative and quantitative research approach was utilised to explore the experiences of social work supervisors in the Department of Social Development (Western Cape), with regard to the use of mentoring as an activity of social work supervision. The motivation for this study originated from an apparent lack of research relating to the use of mentoring as an activity in social work supervision of newly qualified social workers within the Department of Social Development in the Western Cape. The aim of this study is to gain an understanding of the features and use of mentoring as well as how mentoring can be utilised as an activity in social work supervision of newly qualified social workers. The literature study first focused on giving an overview of social work supervision, to provide a contextual basis for mentoring as an activity in social work supervision of newly qualified social workers. The literature study then explored the features and use of mentoring as an activity in social work supervision of newly qualified social workers. The researcher utilised a purposive sample of 20 social work supervisors. These supervisors have been appointed to the different regional and local offices of the Department of Social Development in the Western Cape and provide supervision to social workers, specifically newly qualified social workers. Newly qualified social workers refer to social workers with a maximum experience of 24 months in the practical field. The researcher utilised an interview schedule as a measuring instrument. The results of the investigation confirmed that supervision of newly qualified social workers is essential to ensure quality service rendering. Second, the results concluded that due to the allocation of responsibilities other than supervision, inadequate time is spent on the execution of the social work supervision process. Third, the lack of formal training of supervisors in social work supervision, has a negative impact on the execution of the supervision process, as most of the supervisors provide supervision to newly qualified social workers, based on their own experience of supervision as well as the fact that social work supervision follows a process running parallel to the social work process. Fourth, a majority of the social work supervisors execute mentoring on an informal basis. Fifth, most of the social work supervisors are in favour of the appointment of multiple mentors for each newly qualified social worker. Lastly, senior social workers are viewed as important mentors to assist newly qualified social workers with the acquisition of skills relating to social work service delivery. Recommendations made by this study highlighted the importance of providing accredited supervision training to social work supervisors as well as introducing a policy on the execution of supervision, and mentoring as an activity in social work supervision. Further recommendations focused on the provision of training to all selected mentors as well as on the use of multiple mentors for each newly qualified social worker. Lastly, the use of senior social workers both within the Department and organisations in the NPO sector is promoted, especially to assist newly qualified social workers to attain those skills relating to the execution of their statutory duties and to improve quality service rendering through the enhancement of their professional report writing skills.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Mentorskap, wat as ‘n aktiwiteit in maatskaplikewerk-supervisie omskryf word, bevorder die werwing en behoud van pas gekwalifiseerde maatskaplike werkers. Navorsing wat verband hou met die uitvoering van mentorskap binne die konteks van maatskaplikewerk-supervisie is egter beperk. Daarbenewens het ‘n gebrek aan supervisie van pas gekwalifiseerde sowel as van die meer ervare maatskaplike werkers gelei tot ‘n kritieke tekort aan maatskaplike werkers in Suid- Afrika. Dit het weer gelei tot ‘n afname in die gehalte van maatskaplikewerk-dienslewering aan gemeenskappe in Suid-Afrika. In ‘n poging om die genoemde omstandighede om te keer, het die Suid-Afrikaanse regering die Recruitment and Retention Strategy for Social Workers in 2006 geloods. Die Recruitment and Retention Strategy for Social Workers benadruk die waarde van supervisie aan maatskaplike werkers sowel as die benutting van mentorskap om voldoende ondersteuning te bied aan pas gekwalifiseerde sowel as meer ervare maatskaplike werkers. Die studie word dus onderneem, eerstens om ‘n oorsig van maatskaplikewerk-supervisie te verkry en tweedens om die gebruik van mentorskap binne die konteks van maatskaplikewerk-supervisie te verken. ‘n Gekombineerde kwantitatiewe en kwalitatiewe navorsingsbenadering is benut om die ervarings van maatskaplikewerk-supervisors in die Wes-Kaapse Departement van Maatskaplike Ontwikkeling, rakende mentorskap as ‘n aktiwiteit in maatskaplikewerk-supervisie van pas gekwalifiseerde maatskaplike werkers te ontbloot. Die studie is gemotiveer deur ‘n opmerklike gebrek aan navorsing ten opsigte van die benutting van mentorskap as ‘n aktiwiteit in maatskaplikewerk-supervisie van pas gekwalifiseerde maatskaplike werkers in die Wes-Kaapse Departement van Maatskaplike Ontwikkeling. Die doel van die studie was om begrip te ontwikkel rondom die eienskappe en benutting van mentorskap sowel as hoe mentorskap as ‘n aktiwiteit in maatskaplikewerk-supervisie benut kan word. Die literatuurstudie verskaf eerstens ‘n oorsig van maatskaplikewerk-supervisie om sodoende ‘n kontekstuele basis vir mentorskap as ‘n aktiwiteit in maatskaplikewerk-supervisie van pas gekwalifiseerde maatskaplike werkers aan te bied. Die literatuurstudie verken voorts die eienskappe en benutting van mentorskap as ‘n aktiwiteit in maatskaplikewerk-supervisie van pas gekwalifiseerde maatskaplike werkers. Die navorser het ‘n doelbewuste steekproef van 20 maatskaplikewerk supervisors benut. Hierdie supervisors is werksaam in die verskillende streeks- en plaaslike kantore van die Wes-Kaapse Departement van Maatskaplike Ontwikkeling en verskaf supervisie aan onder andere pas gekwalifiseerde maatskaplike werkers. Pas gekwalifiseerde maatskaplike werkers verwys na alle maatskaplike werkers met minder as 24 maande ervaring in die praktyk. Die navorser het ‘n onderhoudskedule as meetinstrument benut. Die resultate van die ondersoek bevestig eerstens dat die verskaffing van supervisie aan pas gekwalifiseerde maatskaplike werkers noodsaaklik is vir die versekering van kwaliteit dienslewering. Tweedens bevestig die bevindinge ook dat, as gevolg van die aanwysing van verantwoordelikhede, buiten supervisie, daar onvoldoende tyd aan die uitvoering van maatskaplikewerk-supervisieprosesse bestee word. Derdens het die gebrek aan formele supervisie-onderrig, ‘n negatiewe uitwerking op die uitvoering van die supervisieproses, aangesien die meeste supervisors wat supervisie aan pas gekwalifiseerde maatskaplike werkers verskaf, dit baseer op hul eie ervarings van supervisie sowel as die feit dat die supervisie parallel verloop met die maatskaplikewerk-proses. Vierdens verrig die meeste maatskaplikewerk-supervisors hul mentorskap op ‘n informele wyse. Vyfdens is die meeste supervisors ten gunste van die aanstelling van meer as een mentor vir elke pas gekwalifiseerde maatskaplike werker. Laastens word senior maatskaplike werkers beskou as belangrike mentors om pas gekwalifiseerde maatskaplike werkers te help met die verkryging van daardie vaardighede wat verband hou met maatskaplikewerk-dienslewering. Aanbevelings wat in die studie gemaak is beklemtoon die belangrikheid van die verskaffing van geakkrediteerde supervisie-onderrig aan maatskaplikewerk-supervisors, die daarstelling van ‘n supervisiebeleid sowel as die benutting van mentorskap as ‘n aktwiteit in maatskaplikewerksupervisie. Verdere aanbevelings fokus op die verskaffing van opleiding aangaande die proses van mentorskap. Laastens word die gebruik van senior maatskaplike werkers sowel in die Wes- Kaapse Departement van Maatskaplike Ontwikkeling as in ander organisasies in die nieregerings sektor, as mentors ondersteun, ten einde meer spesifiek pas gekwalifiseerde maatskaplike werkers te help met die aanleer van daardie vaardighede wat verband hou met die uitvoering van hul statutêre verpligtinge en om die kwaliteit van dienslewering te bevorder deur die verbetering van die professionele skryfvaardighede van pas gekwalifiseerde maatskaplike werkers.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/20321
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