Supervision is recognised as a cornerstone of critical and reflexive social work practice. However, many social workers report infrequent and/or inadequate supervision and this is a concern which practitioners and academics alike are seeking to address. The question posed in this seminar is “what happens beyond supervision?” and, in particular, what part do informal interactions between peers play in professional practice?
Dr Duncan Helm is a senior lecturer in social work at the University of Stirling. With a practice background in child protection duty work and an academic interest in judgement and decision-making, Duncan has taught extensively on professional judgement (or sense-making) in conditions of uncertainty. His ethnographic research has cast new light on the role that informal interaction between colleagues and team members can play in social work practice. In this seminar, Duncan will present empirical data and a theoretical model of shared sense-making which can help students, practitioners and academics to articulate and work effectively with the influence of peers on professional judgement in social work.