Exploring the professional supervisory dyad working alliance in children and family integrated services in Hong Kong

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Exploring the professional supervisory dyad working alliance in children and family integrated services in Hong Kong


Author: Ng, Kwok Tung
Title: Exploring the professional supervisory dyad working alliance in children and family integrated services in Hong Kong
Degree: Ph.D.
Year: 2016
Subject: Social workers -- Supervision of -- China -- Hong Kong.
Family services -- China -- Hong Kong.
Children -- Services for -- China -- Hong Kong.
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Dept. of Applied Social Sciences
Pages: xvi, 356 pages
Language: English
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b2925476
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/8727
Abstract: Supervisory relationship has been identified as one of the key components in bringing effective supervision. This study aimed to explore how supervisorsupervisee dyads form their supervisory alliance working relationships and its implications on social work professional supervision practice in Hong Kong. The study was situated within a constructivist paradigm and the sources of information were from focus groups and in-depth interviews specifically with nine supervisor-supervisee dyads. The research framework was grounded in supervision constructs (function-based), supervisory working alliance relationships (relationship-based), and attachment processes (interaction-based) embedded in an ecological system. The antecedents and consequences of positive or negative supervisory alliances in supervision processes determine positive or negative outcomes of supervisory working relationships. The research results from this study indicated that a positive client outcome is closely related to both affiliation and dominance seen in therapy behaviour and also provides evidence in support of a connection between supervisory relationships and supervision effectiveness. The Chinese cultural orientation of "Qing -情 (primary and intimate relationships)", "Yuan -緣(relationships determined by God or by impression)", "En -恩 (memory of favour)", "Bao -報 (return of favour)" , "Mainzin -面子 (face/status in the social network)", plays a significant role in promoting the alliance relationship between the supervisor and the supervisee. For example, when conflict occurs or expectations are different, supervisees most likely consider the importance of "respect and harmony" with their seniors and authority. However, supervisors prefer to maintain professional boundaries with supervisees to avoid unreasonable expectations incurred from reciprocal relationships. Overall, supervisory relationships in the dyads were well-established and this can be inferred from their reported relational behaviours including reflections, acceptance, listening, modesty, cooperation, and mutual exchanges. These behaviours were captured in different supervisory relationships in different developmental stages.
Participants in general perceived there is a strong need for supervision in social work. However, in practice, supervision appears loose, with no policy, structure and standards, and no evaluation of its effects on supervisees and service users. The deficit in current supervision practice is that supervision is perceived as low priority when supervisors are occupied with other administrative duties. Supervision is not focused on developing supervisees' professional knowledge and skills but instead places too much emphasis on administrative management, especially in risk prevention. Social work supervision is perceived as an on-going challenge in terms of developing contractual and structural support, commonly stipulated by professional bodies in the United Kingdom, United States and Australia. To increase quality and creditability of supervision, future research needs to explore supervision effectiveness for supervisees and their input to clients' outcomes using a triad of participants.

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