Online video supervision for statutory youth caseworkers – a pilot study

DOIhttps://doi.org/10.1108/JCS-06-2017-0029
Publication Date18 September 2017
Pages127-137
AuthorHelle Birkholm Antczak,Thomas Mackrill,Signe Steensbæk,Frank Ebsen
SubjectHealth & social care,Vulnerable groups,Children's services,Sociology,Sociology of the family,Children/youth,Parents,Education,Early childhood education,Home culture,Social/physical development
Online video supervision for statutory
youth caseworkers a pilot study
Helle Birkholm Antczak, Thomas Mackrill, Signe Steensbæk and Frank Ebsen
Abstract
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to present a novel online video-based approach to supervision for
statutory caseworkers. Caseworkers recorded a video of their meetings with their clients and sent the video
to their supervisor. The supervisor selected clips in the video. They held an online meeting where they
reviewed the clips, and the supervisor gave feedback and they reflected together. The caseworker then used
what they had learnt in their future practice. The caseworker then recorded a new meeting, and the
supervision cycle restarted.
Design/methodology/approach In total, 11 statutory caseworkers from three municipalities in the
Copenhagen area participated in semi-structured qualitative interviews. The interviews focused on the
professional learning and challenges caseworkers faced in relation to participating in the supervision process.
Findings The caseworkers reported that they used the method to assess their own practice in a more
realistic way as the use of video gave a more accurate image than merely recalling what had occurred. They
reflected about and developed their relationship with clients, their conversational style and use of
communication techniques, skills in relation to running meetings, and skills in relation to eliciting the young
persons perspective. The caseworkers were anxious when they received their first feedback from
supervisors, but this diminished. The focus on supporting clients in their personal development challenged
caseworkers who identified as having an administrative rather than interventional role. Some found the online
meeting technology difficult to master.
Originality/value This study presents and explores the use of a novel approach to statutory
casework supervision.
Keywords Education, Supervision, Training, Social work, Casework, Statutory
Paper type Research paper
Introduction
Shell look at the first video and say, thats not a meeting. You havent even held a meeting. You have
just chatted. And you call yourself a social worker (Caseworker).
A new approach to supervision for statutory youth protection caseworkers has been tested in
Denmark.Caseworkers recorda video of theirmeetings with theirclients and send thevideo to their
supervisor. The supervisor selects clips in the video. They hold an online meeting where they review
the clips together, and the supervisor gives feedback and they reflect together. The caseworker
then uses what they have learnt in their future practice. The caseworker then records a new
meeting, and the supervision cycle restarts. The supervision approach was developed at the
Institutefor Social Workat MetropolitanUniversity Collegein Copenhagen,Denmark, in cooperation
with three local municipalities. The project was f unded by the Tryg Foundation. The model was
partiallyinspired by the My Teaching Partner(Allen et al., 2011) supervision model developed in the
USA, whereby teachers receive online supervision based on video recordings of their classroom
activities. This paperpresents the supervision modeland a pilot interviewstudy of caseworkerswho
have participated in the pilot.
Video has been used to support professional development and enhance reflective practice since
the 1960s. Huhra (2008) reported that video supervision can affect changes in the professionals
Received 27 June 2017
Revised 25 August 2017
Accepted 26 August 2017
Helle Birkholm Antczak is a
Senior Lecturer at the Institute
for Social Work, Metropolitan
University College,
Frederiksberg, Denmark.
Thomas Mackrill, Signe
Steensbæk, and Frank Ebsen
are all based at the Institute for
Social Work, Metropolitan
University College,
Frederiksberg, Denmark.
DOI 10.1108/JCS-06-2017-0029 VOL. 12 NO. 2/3 2017, pp. 127-137, © Emerald Publishing Limited, ISSN 1746-6660
j
JOURNAL OF CHILDREN'S SERVICES
j
PAG E 12 7

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