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Supervision & Training Policy 

1. Supervision, Principles and Functions, and Support

Good supervision is based on a relationship which is working well and should provide a safe environment for critical reflection, challenge and professional support ensuring competent accountable practice.

There are four main functions of good supervision:

1.1 Competent accountable performance (Managerial function) This includes monitoring progress against agreed tasks and timescales, maintaining clarity and accountability, reviewing priorities and risk;

1.2 Continuing professional development (Developmental/formative function). This includes job-related training, monitoring continual professional and managerial development, providing feedback on performance, acknowledging strengths and acting on capability issues. Both supervisor and supervisee should feel able to share questions and uncertainties as well as knowledge and experience;

1.3 Personal support (Supportive /restorative function)

1.4 Engaging the individual with the organisation (Mediation function) and may include advocacy, negotiations around roles and responsibilities and management of resource implications, escalation of concerns both in relation to individual cases and performance issues, dealing sensitively with complaints and opportunities for mediation if internal processes are not effective in resolving disputes.

One to one supervision is part of a wider systems approach to strengthen reflective practice and learning. Models of supervision include group supervision, case mapping, appreciative enquiry, multi-agency communities of practice, use of learning loops across teams and services. 

Within all agencies which have operational responsibility for safeguarding children and child protection services, there should be an agency policy, which defines minimum levels of formal supervision of those staff who are accountable for child protection cases.

Such supervision must ensure that all child protection cases are regularly discussed in supervision.

On some occasions - e.g. enquiries about complex abuse or allegations against colleagues, agencies should consider the provision of additional individual or group staff support.

Managers should develop local policies and systems to maximise staff safety and remain alert to the possibility that some staff may be anxious about personal safety yet reluctant to acknowledge their concern.

Supervision Principles

Supervision supports, assures and develops the knowledge, skills and values of an individual worker and provides accountability for decision-making and promotes their engagement within an organisation. High quality supervision is the cornerstone of effective working with all children and young people.

These principles are designed to support those agencies with supervision policies and procedures in place and to provide guidance and assistance to agencies that have yet to develop their own policies. The principles are supported by all partners in the Surrey Safeguarding Children Partnership.

  • Supervision must ensure the effective management of practice, develop and support staff

  • Staff should be responsible for the quality of their work and should make a positive contribution to the supervisory process

  • Senior managers have a responsibility to promote good supervision and ensuring that training is provided for both supervisors and supervisees

  • Supervision must promote and model anti discriminatory behaviours and anti-oppressive practice and ensure the equality and diversity policies are adhered to

  • Supervision must be in a safe place where supervisees can explore strengths, development needs, feelings of being unsure or stuck as well as hearing challenge and receiving praise for their practice.

  • Supervision should be planned in private at a pre-arranged time and take place as planned. Changes to times and supervision dates should be recorded and the supervision re-arranged to the earliest opportunity

  • Good preparation and a pre-set agenda will help staff to prepare for the supervision.

  • Supervision should allow time for Clinical/Reflective practice - Critical evaluation of the assessment and planning for child and family



  1. Each agency will have a written policy and procedure for the supervision of staff working in safeguarding children that is known to, and used by, all staff;

  2. Supervision takes place regularly, in accordance with each agency procedures and at least every 3 months. It must be planned and prepared for in advance by supervisor and supervisee;

  3. Supervision takes place in a quiet private space and sufficient time is allowed for an uninterrupted discussion that enables critical reflection; [1]

  4. Supervision promotes continuous learning and knowledge-sharing and offers an opportunity for reflective supervision. Reflective supervision is understood to mean:

  • Providing an opportunity to consider practice by stepping back from the work;

  • Giving time and consideration to a case, in order to consider desired outcomes and how to achieve the

  • Kolb’s learning cycle (experience, reflection, conceptualisation and planning) provides a helpful structure for this discussion.


All supervision sessions must be recorded by the supervisor and the record shared with the supervisee as soon as possible. The record in relation to specific children will form part of the child’s record; Communication is open, honest, confidential and based on trust and mutual respect. Agencies may want to consider use of a supervision agreement; [2] All staff will have access to appropriate advice and support outside supervision sessions to deal with any immediate child protection issues (including recognition of the need for additional support in particular cases or circumstances); Supervision must acknowledge the supervisee’s strengths, but also take action to address capability issues when necessary; Supervisors should have the necessary safeguarding training (in line with SSCP training requirements for their role) and have had training in conducting supervision; Supervision discussions must be child-focussed and consider the impact of parents’ behaviour/functioning on their parenting of the child.

[1] Valuable opportunities may arise to include reflective discussions in multi-agency fora. However, these should not be seen as a replacement for supervision fulfilling all the functions of supervision outlined above.

[2] Any difficulties in the relationship should be acknowledged and, if it is not possible to resolve them, alternative arrangements for supervision should be made in line with advocacy function of supervision outlined above.

6. General Training

All professionals including staff in the private and voluntary sectors, require a general awareness of known indicators and predisposing factors of abuse as well as (role specific) detailed knowledge of agreed policies and procedures.

All front line staff must be trained to pass calls about the safety of children to the appropriate professional staff.

The strategy for staff engaged in child protection work includes:

  • Basic and advanced inputs on all forms of abuse and neglect;

  • For staff working with adults, sufficient training to inform and enable recognition of concerns about any dependent children which require referral to Surrey Children’s Services or the Surrey Safeguarding Hub.

accountable for:

  • Provision of sufficient general and specialised training;

  • Monitoring of the take-up rate amongst those offered those training opportunities; and

  • Routine evaluation of the perceived effectiveness of the training received.

All members of staff who have any contact with children must be included in their agencies training programme on child protection at basic or more advanced level according to their role.

SSCP Training Strategy and Programme.

7. Equality and Diversity Training

All operational staff must routinely be provided with opportunities for basic and comprehensive anti-discriminatory training.

Such training must be rooted in recognition of the diversity of families and communities in Surrey and respect for the differing approaches to child care that this diversity represents.

Such training must also ensure that respect for difference is not confused with acceptance of any form of abuse or neglect.

Equality and diversity issues must be integrated within all child protection training provided to staff.

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