Perceptions of newly qualified social workers regarding supervision within the Department of Social Development in the Limpopo province, South Africa

Supervision in the social work profession is fundamental to training, as it helps social workers to develop theirprofessional capabilities and improves their skills and knowledge of rendering quality services to clients. Lack of supervision for newly qualified social workers may compromise the quality of services received by clients.Effective supervision is associated with good quality service to clients, increased professional development and greaterjob satisfaction for social workers. A qualitative study was conducted with a sample of 20 newly qualified social workers employed at the Department of Social Development in Waterberg District of the Limpopo Province where individual supervision is the most commonly used method of supervision. The aim of the study was to explore the perceptions and experiences of newly qualified social workers regarding supervision at their workplaces. The data was collected through semi-structured interviews, using semi-structured interview schedule, and analysed using thematic content analysis. The non-probability and purposive sampling was applied. The main findings were that the newly qualified social workers recognisedmany of the strengths of the Department of Social Development Supervision Framework which included: ethics, a supervision contract, professional development and compliance with the Framework. The data analysed also revealed that supervision within the DSD is not conducted in compliance with the Supervision Framework and various factors affecting the quality of supervision in the Department were highlighted. This report concludes with a brief discussion of the findings and recommendations.
Department of Social Work School of Human and Community Development Faculty of Humanities University of Witwatersrand In partial fulfilment of the requirement for the degree MA (Occupational Social Work) February, 2016