UBC Theses and Dissertations
Supervision and worker well-being in the Ministry of Social Services and Housing Conway, Oliver P.
Most of the theoretical literature upon the subject of supervision describes or presumes a relationship between the manner in which supervision is practiced and casework outcomes. Because of the difficulties involved in accurately measuring casework outcomes, there is a paucity of research supporting this position. This descriptive study was intended to investigate the hypothetical relationship between aspects of supervision practice, and "worker well-being". The rationale informing this approach, based largely on the literature pertaining to the "burnout" phenomenon, was that social workers who have low professional well-being are likely also to suffer diminished professional effectiveness. Thus, through an intermediate step, this study aimed to explore the relationship between supervision and professional effectiveness. An original questionnaire, which underwent a pretest, was mailed to 198 social workers in the Ministry of Social Services and Housing. A 67% response rate was obtained. Data was gathered regarding the context in which supervision takes place, its functional orientation, the supervision relationship, and the well-being of the worker. While the findings provide a useful descriptive profile of the manner in which supervision is practised, no significant correlation was demonstrated between supervision practice and worker well-being, as operationalized here. The descriptive profile is discussed in terms of the literature underlying the research, and implications for practice are addressed.
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