Social Work Supervision and Leadership

Respond to each case study.
a. Identify key DEIPAR issues important to supervision of the case (worker and client).
b. State your recommendation for addressing the core issues (previously identified).
c. From a supervisory/leadership perspective, state your recommendation for resolving or
preparing for readiness. Consider rooted resolve over superficial resolve.

  1. Each response should be 3-5 paragraphs, written in APA 7th edition, essay format, minimum of six
    references. Use course and/or outside materials or research to strengthen your recommendations.

Case Study #1: Social Work Supervision
One of your roles in the counselor education program at a local university is to run a practicum clinic and
provide group and individual supervision. A new practicum counselor, Hazel, was in her early twenties
and, prior to entering practicum, had discussed her history of physical abuse, mentioning she never
wanted to have to file an abuse report. During her practicum experience, she received individual
supervision from a Licensed Clinical Social Worker adjunct faculty member who had worked in the child
welfare system. As Clinical Director, you provided both group supervision and on site, as-needed
supervision. Hazel was assigned a client through the clinic. In this instance, the client was a 14- year-old
Latina cis-gender female who lived with her father and stepmother due to prior neglect by her mother.
During treatment, the 14-year-old client disclosed that she smoked marijuana and drank strawberry
wine coolers with her mother and minor cousins during a weekend visit.
Clinic procedure requires student counselors to obtain immediate supervision if a client makes an
allegation of abuse or neglect. Hazel did not come out of the session to report the incident and said
nothing after the session concluded. Later, during her one hour individual supervision session, the
supervisor watching the tape realized that the child’s statement required a protective services report.
Her supervisor walked Hazel through the procedures of writing and filing the report, which Hazel did
without resistance. Several days later, Hazel came into your office and stated, “I feel like crap, I’ve
ruined her life”.
Hazel expressed fear that the client would never return for counseling, and fear that the client would
hate her. She reported imagining all sorts of consequences including that the child’s father would no
longer allow the child to see her mother and that the child would no longer disclose information if she
returned to counseling. She questioned her decision to make an abuse or neglect report and reported
feeling angry at her supervisor.
Hazel’s reaction was consistent with reactions reported in the literature and did not bode well for future
ethical practice. You and Hazel discussed the issue first from a legal standpoint. Reminding her that as a
mandated reporter she must make the report or risk her license and possible criminal charges. Then you
addressed the issues from an ethical perspective, reviewing the ethical codes including welfare to client,
confidentiality, boundaries, and multiple or dual relationships. You challenged Hazel on viewing herself
as the child’s protector and taking responsibility for her happiness. You linked her reaction to her own
personal history and discussed how her countertransference impeded her ability to make ethical
Finally, you processed her feelings, relating them back to her own history of abuse and focused on how
that history brought up pain and fear. While she seemed to express an understanding of her role as a
counselor and acknowledged how her feelings were impeding her judgment, her difficulty with the
situation continued. The next time she met with her client in a recorded session, the client stated,
“someone called protective services and I had to talk to them” and Hazel said nothing. She did not admit
to making the report and appeared uncomfortable and nervous in the videotaped session. The client
made several statements during the session trying to get Hazel to admit her role in the neglect report,
but Hazel shut down and said nothing. The client continued by stating that a police officer accompanied
the protective service worker, “a white cop who was rude”, and who “embarrassed and scared the
family just being there”. The client stated further “I can’t believe somebody would send white cops to
our house; we don’t need them, we never did.” Hazel remained quiet and attempted to change the
subject. You bring your observations of the session to Hazel in an individual supervision session.
Currie, N. (2021). Case Studies in Decolonized Social Work Supervision. Manuscript in preparation.
Pickover, S., Golomb, S., & Bennett-Garraway, J. (2017). Case examples in clinical supervision: The challenge of
mandated reporting. The Practitioner Scholar, 6, 108-118.

Case Study #2: Social Work Leadership
You are a Clinical Director for small community-based agency in a rural area. The agency provides
outpatient behavioral health services and case management. You manage a team of three clinicians, two
graduate clinical interns, and three case managers. The agency founder and board hired you two years
ago to create, launch, and manage the program. This program is near to you as it primarily serves a
vulnerable population that you also self-identity with.
As the program grows and becomes successful, you begin to experience a change in your working
relationship with the agency founder and Executive Director. He begins to undermine your decision
making, holds up important projects, and is unsupportive with your guidance of agency staff. You ask to
speak with privately where you express your concerns. He is warm and engaged during your meeting
and promises to support your vision and management of the program.
The very next week he is back to his previous behavior, creating barriers for you to management the
program, second guessing your work, and patronizing your follow up with him. He has even gone as far
as to suggest you might benefit from a mentor and has scheduled you a meeting with one of the agency
board members, a local psychiatrist. You attend the meeting and explain your concerns with the
program and overall work culture. The board member listens attentively and appears engaged. After
responding to your appeal the board member compliments your appearance with a flirtatious smile. The
board member then invites you to their home to meet their partner and join them for a wine tasting.
You graciously decline, feeling awkward about the ask.
The next week the board member and ED meet with you to inform you that you will now be managed by
the board member and should report to them for approval in decision making. The board member is
now a paid part time employee and continues the contentious work environment the ED has created.
You make a final appeal to the ED reporting the inappropriate conversion and invite from the board
member and your overall dissatisfaction with your experience at the agency as of late. Your appeal is met
with concern in the moment but ultimately falls on deaf ears. No steps to resolve your concerns or
difficult work environment are initiated by the ED or board member. The agency board was handpicked
by the ED and any communication including grievance to the board is circumvented by the ED. You feel a
tremendous sense of obligation to your clients especially being the only clinician/social work leader
specializing in your focus area and population in the area. However, the work environment is almost
unbearable and your personal life and emotional health have begun to suffer.
Currie, N. (2021). Case Studies in Decolonized Social Work Supervision. Manuscript in preparation.

Text that you can draw from for references
Adams, M., Blumenfeld, W. J., Castañeda, C. R., Hackman, H. W., Peters, M. L., & Zúñiga, X.
(2010). Readings for diversity and social justice. New York: Routledge.
Aldarondo, E. (Ed.). (2007). Advancing social justice through clinical practice. Lawrence
Erlbaum Associates Publishers.
Kadushin, A., & Harkness, D. (2014). Supervision in social work (5th ed.). Columbia
University Press.
Miller, J., & Garran, A. M. (2017). Racism in the United States: Implications for the helping

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