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Supervision is a formal process aimed at enabling a youth worker to practice safely and to their best potential.The process of supervision is a regular meeting between two (or more) people with the main focus being the person in ministry who is being supervised. The role of the supervisor is to help the person in ministry examine their own behaviour. The effectiveness of supervision will depend on the honesty of the person in ministry. A supervisor can only deal with what the person presents to them. Supervision is different from other forms of support. It doesn’t begin with a ‘problem’ as in a counseling situation. It is different from a management or oversight group because the focus is on the person and their personal development not the tasks of the job. The supervisor is not a consultant who knows all the answers and can advise the person on the best practice. Finally, supervision is different from spiritual direction, which is specifically about a person’s relationship with God. Of course there will be cross over between these processes but the supervision relationship needs to be clearly defined to be effective. One way of doing this is to have a contract with your supervisor. If the contract is established before the supervision is arranged, both parties know what is expected of them. If supervision has already begun, setting up a contract could be part of a review process. The contract might cover:

  • How often the pair will meet and when the meetings will take place
  • Three month trial period after which either party may withdraw if it is not satisfactory
  • What areas will be discussed in the supervision meetings
  • The need to keep supervision discussions confidential
  • Acknowledgement that honesty is required
  • Commitment by the person being supervised to continue with the regular meetings even when difficult issues arise in supervision
  • A time period for the supervision, after which the relationship will be reviewed by both parties
  • The cost of the supervision sessions and how payment will be made

Supervision Info