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FULLY BOOKED Promoting Quality Professional Supervision

  • St Andrews Resource Centre, 114-116 Pearse Street
  • 9.30 Registration, 10 - 1.00 Workshop
  • 31 Mar 2017

Price €10 IASW members/€25 non-members

This workshop puts a focus on the topics of CPD Portfolios and Reflective Practice in the context of supervision



9.30 - 10.00  Registration, tea and coffee

10 – 11.20   Safer Decision Making - Implementing Reflective Practice as an Integral Component of Social Work Supervision (Aisling Coffey)

11.20 - 11.40 Tea and coffee

11.40 – 1.00        ‘Communities of practice’: A fear-free approach to our CPD Portfolios  (Nerilee Ceatha)



Nerilee Ceatha is a Social Work Team Leader with Tusla and is the social work representative on its Research Advisory Group. She is an active member of the IASW Practitioner Research SIG. Nerilee was joint winner of the IASW Social Work Researcher of the Year 2016 award. She highlights the potential of the supervision space to build on the strength of reflective practice in bridging the well-recognised gap between research and practice. Nerilee advocates for a ‘communities of practice’ approach within supervision. This research-minded approach may be of particular relevance to our CPD Portfolios in meeting the requirements of CORU registration.


Aisling Coffey is a Principal Social Worker within a non acute hospital setting. Since qualification she has worked within the adult mental health services, the probation service, primary care and protection of older persons services. She has recently completed the MSc in Leadership within the RCSI and her thesis subject was reflective practice within professional social work supervision. 

Aisling was a director on the Board of the IASW for two years, holding officer positions as treasurer and vice-chairperson.  Aisling holds passion, commitment and strong pride in her profession, seeing the value that social work contributes to improving the quality of life of some of the most vulnerable and marginalised members of our society.  Through the IASW Aisling has had the privilege of collaborating with many colleagues in seeking to promote the value of our profession, the needs of our clients and continually seek the highest standards of excellence in social work service delivery. 


Workshop Abstract

Social work is a complex and contested profession, operating in uncertain and unpredictable contexts, requiring careful professional judgements that can have profound impact on service-users.  A number of high-profile inquiries have found deficits within the capacity of the profession to critically analyse practice and manage complexity.  These inquiry reports place key emphasis on the need for reflective practice within supervision as a critical means of providing safe, high quality services.  However there is also evidence that social workers are not getting the opportunity to reflect on practice and that supervision has become overly managerial and prescriptive. 

As a practicing social worker, the workshop facilitator is aware of the complexity within which the profession operates and wishes to support and empower colleagues in complex professional decision-making to enhance safe, high quality social work services.  The facilitator is also conscious of trends toward the predominance of managerialism within supervision and has sought to rebalance the process to incorporate critical reflection as an integral component.  Furthermore the facilitator is aware of the emphasis placed on reflective practice by CORU and wishes to support and empower colleagues to meet regulatory requirements with competence and confidence. 

This workshop provides an overview of a project undertaken within the facilitators workplace to implement reflective practice as an integral component of professional supervision.  It will outline the practical steps undertaken by the team to engage in reflective practice, the tools developed to support engagement and the findings from team members when the project was evaluated.   


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