If you’re serious about becoming a Social Worker and are invested in Social Work as a career, if you’ve been a Social Worker for a long time and want to get back to your original motivations, there are several questions you should ask yourself throughout your career to make sure you’re still on track. They are also good questions to ask yourself when preparing for an interview because you train yourself how to sell your skills.
I developed and used these questions with my new supervisees to get to know them, how they work and give them an introduction into how I work.
Feel free to use the questions and feel free to provide some feedback if there are any questions you feel should be added.
1 – How do you practice? What are your professional standards?
2 – What do you see as your role:
– as a Social Worker
– in the organization
– in the team
3 – What are your professional interests?
4 – What do you think you do well?
5 – What do you think you can do better?
6 – What kind of practitioner do you strive to be?
I feel these questions are important because it keeps Social Workers in touch with why they went into Social Work, who they would like to be and how close or far are they from there. It also helps establish the management relationship. If you’re asking yourself these questions, then it keeps your goals ever present and may help combat the cynicism and complacency that can set in.
From a Manager’s perspective the following are really good to facilitate the supervision process with workers and help them to get back on track or to start off the right way:
1 – How can I/we help you become the practitioner you strive to be?
2 – How can I/we help you do your best?
3 – Tell me about your supervision history
– what helped you
– what hindered
– how did you respond at the time
– how does it influence you now
4 – What do you expect from your manager?
5 – My expectations are (examples):
– communication: let me know what is going on with your cases regularly
– open and honest feedback
– be prepared for supervision
– agenda (any issues on cases or within organization or team
– come with possible solutions/professional judgement
– come ready for discussion
– come with ideas for your own development
– take instruction as needed
6 – What are your professional goals?
I used these questions with my workers as part of the process of developing a supervision agreement. It was good because it opened the dialogue between myself and the workers. It gave me a view into their practice. As managers I would suggest going to a meeting or visit with all of your Social Workers, not to take over but to get a fuller view of how they practice and how they interact with clients.