Two years ago when Ultimate Youth Worker began we started as a small external supervision service for youth workers. We started this because we saw the lack of supervision given to our friends and colleagues as well as the lack of qualified youth workers providing external supervision. We wanted to see youth workers supported by youth workers to develop their youth work practice. Over the past two years we have supported dozens of youth workers to do just that. However, we still hear of people offering supervision to youth workers which cause more trouble than support.
These well meaning people, often social workers and psychologists, do not understand the intricacies of youth work theory and practice. They begin to make their supervisees more like them. Youth workers deserve better. We deserve supervisors who understand youth work theory and practice and how they interweave. We deserve the best possible support to do the work we do.
So what should we look for when choosing an external supervisor. Here are a few thoughts we have on the expectations of a good youth work supervisor:
If you ask your potential external supervisor these questions then you will be assured to have a great supervisor to help you trek through the ups and downs of youth work. If you want a supervisor who ticks all these boxes contact us and we will point you in the right direction.
I recently came across this great article from Community Care in the UK through a post by the amazing Teenage Whisperer, Sam Ross. Sam reminds us that good supervision and support to reflect on the work is of extreme importance… something that as a social work student and youth worker in Australia we seem to lack as well.
Check out the post from Community Care here: ‘I was told I wouldn’t have time for reflective practice when I qualified as a social worker’