Supervision for Peer Support Workers

What is supervision?

Supervision is a process where a peer support worker/specialist (supervisee) meets with a supervisor, face to face or via video conferencing, for the purposes of reflecting on their practice and developing their skills, effectiveness and confidence in their work. Supervisors generally have experience in a similar or related field to the worker, as well as supervision qualifications and experience. The relationship between supervisor and supervisee is a supportive and robust one that enables the supervisee to grow, learn and develop through reflection, learning and development prompted by the supervisor, within a safe space.

Supervision is about creating space for reflection on work practice, and gaining feedback, development and guidance on your practice. Effective supervision contributes to increased skills, knowledge and resilience, and to increased job engagement, decreased turnover and burnout. Ultimately, effective supervision helps to ensure that the people served by peer support services get the best quality of service possible.

How can you benefit from supervision?

Supervision can help you to:

  • Identify and acknowledge strengths in your practice.
  • Identify gaps in your knowledge and skills, and seek strategies to address them.
  • Work through ethical dilemmas to identify the best course of action in particular client situations.
  • Ensure your practice is safe – for you and for your clients.
  • Better understand the environment that you practice within –organisational, legislative and socio-cultural.
  • Maintain an awareness of your own health and take steps to address concerns if needed.

All of our supervisors are experienced peer supervisors, have worked as peer support workers, and have their own experience of mental health challenges and recovery. 

How do Skype sessions work?

Skype supervision sessions are quite similar to face to face supervision sessions; we just see and speak with each other through the computer. You and your chosen supervisor will make appointment times that are convenient to both of you and then login to Skype at the agreed time.

You will need to have Skype on your computer as well as a Skype account (to download Skype and register an account for free, just go to this site and follow the instructions to download and create an account: www.skype.com). You will also need a broadband internet connection and a webcam. Additionally, you will need a quiet, undisturbed space where you feel comfortable talking about your clients and your practice. 

Please be aware that cancellation processes and associated costs apply for Skype sessions as if they were face to face sessions.

How much does it cost?

Costs are as follows:

  • AU$100 per hour supervision session for casual sessions.
  • AU$90 per hour supervision session for a regular set of three or more ongoing sessions.

To make it easier for you, you can pay supervision costs in Australian dollars. We usually email supervisees with an invoice for supervision undertaken each month, with payment expected within seven days. However, if you would prefer to pay in advance, that is fine too.  Many peer support workers work in organisations that are willing to cover the costs of supervision; Mind and Body can set up an invoicing system with your organisation if that is the case for you.

Agreements:

It is important for there to be written agreements in place that detail the purpose, boundaries, expectations and conditions of supervision. We have a range of supervision agreements already drafted that we use; the type of agreement depends on the parties involved. The most common forms are as follows:

  • A four-way agreement between you, your employer, your external supervisor and Mind and Body.
  • A three-way agreement between you, your external supervisor, and Mind and Body.

When you make contact with a supervisor for the first time they will discuss with you what arrangement and agreement suits your circumstances best. Your supervisor will also ask for a copy of your organisation’s policy and procedure around harm prevention and confidentiality. This request is to ensure the supervisor has a clear understanding of the expectations your organisation has of you in these areas.

You’d like to engage with a Mind and Body peer supervisor, what are the next steps?

  • Read the profiles of our available supervisors below and select who you would like to Skype with.
  • E-mail admin@mindandbody.co.nz with the details of what city you are located in (your location is needed to calculate time differences), and who your preferred supervisor is. You preferred supervisor will get in contact with you via email to set up a suitable time for your introductory session.

Information about Supervision:

For more information about supervision generally, see this position paper by NZ’s National Mental Health, Addictions and Disability Workforce Organisation (Te Pou), for which Mind and Body was a case study: http://www.tepou.co.nz/library/tepou/position-paper-the-role-of-supervision-in-the-mental-health-and-addiction-support-workforce

 

Please click here for Supervisor Profiles