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Social work supervision and discrimination
journal contributionposted on 2013-01-01, 00:00 authored by Norah HoskenNorah Hosken
This article outlines a ‘mutual inquiry’ based approach to supervision using techniques, concepts and insights drawn from social work supervision experience, a current Ph.D. institutional ethnographic research project and intersectionality. Good supervision of social work students and staff can progress efforts towards identifying and combatting discrimination, important steps towards a more socially just society. Reducing discrimination also improves the quality of service provision with clients, often members of the most marginalised groups in the community. Supervision to reduce discrimination needs to be shaped by humility rather than the more popular goal of competence. Humility is fostered when a supervisor and supervisee consider their work together from the standpoints of clients, and purposefully contemplate their complicities in the creation and maintenance of discriminatory practices. This supervision approach aims to create the vision, and ability, to challenge discriminatory policies and practices as they are normalised and inflect at individual, supervision, organisational and societal levels.