A strengths perspective on supervision of social workers within a social development context : a best practice vignette
Please cite as follows:
Engelbrecht, L. K. 2013. A strengths perspective on supervision of social workers within a social development context : a best practice vignette in Lawler, J. & Hafford-Letchfield, T. (eds). Perspectives on management and leadership in social work. Whiting & Birch Ltd. 67-81.
Chapters in Books
INTRODUCTION: Th e emergence of new public management measures as an operationalisation of neoliberal ideas is evident in various social work contexts all over the world. Consequential changes in conditions of service delivery, control and accountability create an infusion of supervision mechanisms for bureaucratic standardisation in social service delivery; and have the potential to exchange the traditional client-practitioner relationship for marketisation, resulting in a buyer-seller relationship (Bradley et al, 2010; Hughes and Wearing, 2007). Indeed, this growing global discourse has an immense impact on management and leadership practices in social work as welfare organisations and social workers are subjected to ever increasing performance pressures, exacerbated by a dominant defi cit-based work orientation (Engelbrecht, 2010). Th ese stressors, coupled in many instances with a traditional Western paternalistic and imperialist male worldview of social work supervision (O’Donoghue, 2002) as imbedded in the management and leadership models employed at social welfare organisations, need to be addressed by a critical theory beyond a defi cits approach as an interpretative framework.