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  • Amy Smitke

Supervision and Social Work

Updated: Nov 7, 2021

Encouragement is a necessary part of supervision.

—Thomas J. Watson


One part of the process to become a licensed social worker involves being supervised by an independent clinician. NASW is a great resource for the definition of clinical supervision. Supervision is a relationship between a supervisor and supervisee during this relationship you explore the development of competence, behavior, and ethics. Supervision should increase a clinician’s knowledge and skill in the clinical field. Look at it as your chance to expand your skillset and professional growth.

Clinical supervision provides specific training on clinical skills including assessment, diagnosis, treatment, termination, and ethical practice standards.


A few considerations when going through supervision are:

  • There should be helpful evaluation assessment to the supervisee and feedback being conducted.

  • A supervisor should be determining whether the supervisee has sufficient clinical skills to become a licensed social worker.

  • Supervisory “Signing Off”: signing off clinical documentation.

If you are newly graduated or new to receive supervision another consideration is the qualifications of the supervisor you choose. This may differ from state to state (also from licensure to licensure). Verify the licensing board for the state you are interested in obtaining a license in. In general, the top qualifications for a supervisor are:

  • A current license to practice at the specific level or above the level in which the supervision will be provided, and in the jurisdiction in which both the supervisor and the supervisee are practicing

  • A degree from an accredited school of social work

  • Specified coursework in supervision, a minimum number of continuing education hours in supervisory practice as required by the state.

  • A minimum of three years (or more if required in licensing statutes) of post-licensure practice experience

  • Free from the sanction of the licensing board for violation(s) of practice standards.

A great resource to look at is your state’s NASW website, locate it here: https://www.socialworkers.org/About/Chapters


Until Next time…stay motivated.

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