Supervision and learning

Child, Youth and Family practice is one of the most challenging in the human services. Working at Child, Youth and Family requires a high degree of skill, an understanding of human dynamics and a capacity to problem solve often in the context of competing demands. Our practice also changes over time as we learn more and more about what works with children, young people and their families/whānau. Thinking reflectively about our work is important, and so too keeping abreast of new ideas and research that supports effective practice. Utilising professional supervision is an important means through which critical engagement in reflective practice can strengthen our work. Ongoing professional development deepens our knowledge and expertise. Together purposeful supervision and professional development will provide a solid foundation for the strengthening of professionalism and quality social work practice.  

Professional supervision

It is important that our staff feel supported in the work that they do. Our work is complex and we need to ensure that there are opportunities to reflect on practice, learn new or different ways of doing things, and maximise the sharing of colleagial skills and experience so that we see our individual and collective practice strengthen over time.

Learning and Capability Development

Learning and Capability Development builds and maintains staff capability through the provision of learning and professional development programmes, services and education pathways.

Practice sessions

We have developed practice sessions on priority areas for our organisation to help strengthen practice on sites and provide a forum for further discussions and learning. 

Assessment: A roadmap for change

Good assessment is key to effective interventions and improving outcomes for children and young people. It provides us with a roadmap for change and is core to quality social work practice. We have developed two practice sessions to help embed the type of practice and analysis we need to see. See below for links to powerpoint presentations, facilitator guides, and other resources and handouts.

We also invite you to provide feedback on the assessment and recording practice sessions to help us maintain and improve their quality and relevance. There are separate feedback forms for both practitioners and facilitators

Recording: A child's story

Recording is a vital part of good social work practice - it helps us understand what is happening in a child or young person's life at any point in time, while also providing information and accountability for practitioners. See below for links to a powerpoint presentation, accompanying notes, resources, handouts and references on why it is important to record a child or young person's story:     

Family/whānau caregiver assessment and approval

In 2010 the Office of the Chief Social Worker developed an assessment and approval process for family/whānau caregivers that responds to the particular dynamics of whānau care arrangements and supports the safe placement of children with whānau. Following staff consultation, testing by sites, and an implementation programme, this policy went live on 1 March 2012. As part of implementation, a set of resources were developed to help staff become familiar with this new way of working. See below for links to a powerpoint presentation, accompanying notes, and handouts: 

Engaging with fathers in our practice

Fathers and paternal family are important members of a child or young person's family, and research has shown that their involvement has a positive impact on the outcomes for the child or young person. Sometimes it can be challenging to work with dads, and for this reason we may not always include them in the decision-making for their child. See below for links to a powerpoint presentation, accompanying notes, a case example, and references about how to better engage with fathers and their family: 


Child, Youth and Family is committed to having a registered workforce. To demonstrate that commitment, Child, Youth and Family will meet all of the fees associated with competency assessment and registration (including membership fees for Aotearoa New Zealand Association of Social Workers if applicable), as well as providing release time and dedicated staff to provide leadership and support to applicants.