Educational psychology work in children's centres: a realistic evaluation of group supervision with family support workers

Soni, Anita (2010). Educational psychology work in children's centres: a realistic evaluation of group supervision with family support workers. University of Birmingham. Ed.D.


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The present study examines the use of group supervision with Family Support Workers (FSWs) based in Children’s Centres, suggests key mechanisms and context features for consideration when implementing group supervision and highlights future directions for research. Literature on the role Educational Psychologists hold in Children’s Centres is reviewed and a role utilising community, critical and organisational psychology principles is suggested. The present study uses a Realistic Evaluation (Pawson & Tilley, 1997) framework to explore the mechanisms, context and outcomes of group supervision. Key mechanisms within FSWs were: confidence, openness to ideas, experience of the job and supervision, prioritisation of group supervision and relationships with colleagues. Key mechanisms within group supervision were: the professional contract, group working agreement, supervisor role, size and composition of the group. Key features of the context were management support and group dynamics. The present study discusses outcomes of group supervision in light of the literature, finding positive outcomes outweigh the number and frequency of negative outcomes, supporting previous literature and raising additional outcomes. The outcomes were coded into educative, supportive and managerial functions (Hawkins & Shohet, 2006). The educative outcomes were: learning from others, sharing experiences and problems, gaining ideas, strategies and new perspectives. The supportive outcomes were: reduced isolation, raised confidence, reassurance, supporting team relationships and individuals. The managerial outcomes were group supervision supported FSWs in delivering better outcomes for children and families.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ed.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ed.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
School or Department: School of Education
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: L Education > LC Special aspects of education
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
L Education > L Education (General)


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