Putting the ‘virtual’ into supervision during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond

Connell, Sue (2023) Putting the ‘virtual’ into supervision during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. Practice: Social Work in Action, ISSN (print) 0950-3153 (Epub Ahead of Print)


This study examined the experiences of practicing Children’s Services Social Workers in a London Local Authority accessing virtual (online) social work supervision during the COVID-19 pandemic between March 2020 and January 2021. This study applied a reflective framework and guiding theories for exploring how supervision brings opportunities for reflective learning, and it considered individual needs within supervision. Study methods comprised an anonymised online questionnaire and semi-structured interviews. Twenty-two participants completed the questionnaire, and eight participants took part in the semi-structured interviews. This research aimed to explore the impacts on practitioners of the change from face-to-face to ‘virtual’ supervision and if all core elements of supervision are addressed. The findings suggest that there was a mixed experience for supervisees with some elements of the supervision functions being consistently met, and others being more variable. Generally, participants found virtual supervision a positive experience, whilst however missing some face-to-face elements. Having a pre-existing relationship with the supervisor was noted to help, and connectivity was also highlighted as important. However, for some participants, particular elements of supervision appeared to have been missed altogether such as Continuing Professional Development (CPD), and part of the Mediation function.

Actions (Repository Editors)

Item Control Page Item Control Page