Establishing Group Supervision in Your Community

(adapted from an IIRAS presentation by Jenna Curtis & Amanda Smith, May 2014)

Colleagues
Image by Brooke Cagle

Our 
Story

Here at IIRAS, we are often asked by participants and/or those who have encountered us as presenters sharing about DC-S and supervision - “where do I find this in my community?” and/or “how do I get this started in my community?” 

 

We have put together this guide for establishing supervision in your community to help in responding to those queries and also to equip those on the front lines with tools to establish supervision sessions in your area backed by our experience, research, expertise, and practice. You don’t have to start from scratch.

Let’s Work Together

500 Terry Francois Street 

San Francisco, CA 94158

Tel: 123-456-7890

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Benefits

 Let’s start with what supervision is and what we mean by demand-control based supervision. We’ll also cover some of the benefits of supervision while we explore the idea. 

 

Start Small

Alright, now that you are on board and want to establish supervision practices in your community, let’s talk about getting started. 

Logistics

There are various ways that supervision can occur. You know your community best, below are a few models of supervision groups you could choose from.

Support

 We have supported supervision leaders through our structures for years and find it to be an effective system.

 

BENEFITS OF GROUP SUPERVISION

Supervision is “a designated interaction between two or more practitioners within a safe and supportive environment, that enables a continuum of reflective critical analysis of care, to ensure quality [client] services, and the wellbeing of the practitioner”
(as cited in Bishop, 2007, p. 1). Dean and Pollard brought the concept and structure to the field of interpreting while researching occupational stress among signed language interpreters. 

 

The benefits of supervision are minimally three-fold, Curtis (2017) outlined these benefits as normative, formative, and restorative. See graphic below. 

 

 

Goals of Supervision

  • Community rapport building

  • Support and validation for case-giver

  • Increased quality of work for consumers

  • Acknowledge & explore complexities of the work

 

GETTING STARTED

​​Start small

  • If you already have training and experience as a supervision leader, host some sessions for colleagues to attend. 

  • If you are not yet a trained supervision leader, gather a group of colleagues and sign up for IIRAS group supervision together. We will assign you a supervision leader and also provide training if one of your local colleagues wishes to become a supervision leader.

  • A supervision group can be around 5-7 people, it does not need to start with a large enrollment. Start with like-minded colleagues who are open and motivated by the idea of sharing their work and honing their skills in community. Then build a culture of supervision, commitment to the process and the work, and then you can recruit and train additional interested colleagues along the way.

 
 

LOGISTICS

Models of supervision groups you could choose from:

  • One time or limited duration

    • A one time event or a 3 week session of weekly group meetings to engage in supervision. 

  • On-going

    • closed groups - a group of individuals who have committed to one another and the work of supervision for a period of time. There is one point of entry and everyone travels that journey together.

    • open groups - a small group of committed colleagues with a leader who meet regularly but are open to others joining as they need.

    • Drop-ins - a supervision leader making themselves available for anyone to drop in and seek supervision from a group of other people who dropped in.

  • On Site - in a shared space like a library conference room, a school classroom not in use, a church room, or other community space where colleagues gather to engage in supervision

  • Distance/Virtual - utilizing zoom or other virtual connection platform to engage in supervision across multiple time zones (or not). IIRAS has been using zoom to connect colleagues from around the world since its inception in 2016, but it has become even more popular to connect this way due to the COVID pandemic and lock downs in various countries. So, this is no longer just an option for people who are in different geographic locations.

  • Membership - mixed vs. homogenous - Groups can be of all educational interpreters, or interpreters who work in mental health settings or interpreters who have less than 5 years of experience or more than 25 years of experience. OR groups can be any interpreter who signs up regardless of any speciality or length of years of experience. It is up to the coordinators to determine the purpose and function of the group in terms of membership make up. 

Logistics

  • Recruitment of Members

    • Recruiting members for your community-based supervision group can be as simple as emailing a few of your colleagues or even emailing your state chapter of RID to see what kind of interest there is in engaging in regular supervision.

    • Identifying a supervision leader can mean identifying another community member who already has training or reaching out to IIRAS to become a trained supervision leader yourself. While you are training under the direction of an experienced or credentialed upservision leader, you can still be engaging in and learning to lead your group of colleagues. IIRAS would provide the training and leader to train you. 

      • If you are interested in this option, email us to get the information about “Becoming a Supervision Leader” . It is $450 dollars for the 9-month training.

    • Buy-in - In terms of garnering buy-in from your community, this is the reasons we recommend starting small. The best way to get buy-in is to have your word-of-mouth be powerful and positive. This happens by engaging a small group of people who are eager and interested in pursuing this and then letting their experiences tell the story. The more benefits they experience, the more their work improves, the more the way they talk about the work changes, and the more satisfied consumers are - the more people will notice and ask why. 

  • In terms of making your community-based supervision session viable financially, there are a few options. 

    • If you are using an IIRAS supervision leader, each member of your group will need to pay the $360 registration fee for the 9-month Group Supervision program. This money is used to pay the supervision leader(s) as well as cover expenses for CEU processing, administration, etc. are accounted for. 

    • If you are running a group yourself, as a trained supervision leader, you will want to charge something for your time and expertise. There are a few reasons for this:

      • When participants pay for something they commit on a different level than if it were free.

      • Your time and expertise are valuable, you have sought out additional training and practice to enhance your own skills as well as contribute to the advancement of the profession in  your local area. 

      • You will need funds potentially to cover room expenses, CEU processing, and/or handouts or other supplies. 

  • CEU Processing

    • If you are running your group through IIRAS, we will take care of CEU processing for the 9-month program.

    • If you are running your group yourself, you will want to seek out a CMP sponsor who is open to processing CEUs for supervision, it doesn’t fit the parameters of the CMP process perfectly, so there needs to be an openness and recognition of the professional benefit of supervision by the CMP sponsor.

      • IIRAS can provide examples of CEU instructor forms and activity forms to use for processing.

  • Setting up sessions

    • If you are running your group through IIRAS, you will be meeting on the 3rd Saturday or Monday of the month, unless your group has made a special arrangement with your supervision leader. 

    • If you are running your group yourself, we recommend you choose a day/time that works best in your schedule and see who can attend. The alternative is to choose the members and then select a time that works for all. Either way, we recommend you select a day/time each month that is consistent and predictable (2nd THursday at 5pm), to make it easier for scheduling. 

  • Evaluating the experience

    • Whether you are seeking CEUs for your community-based Supervision sessions or not, evaluations will help you in determining not only effectiveness, but likelihood that they will return and/or refer a friend. 

    • You can collect information regarding common themes, challenges, and or barriers as well. 

    • Again, IIRAS can help by providing sample evaluation templates in the Supervision Leader toolkit for both session specific evaluations as well as program-level assessments (after the completion of all sessions).

SUPPORT

We have supported supervision leaders through our structures for years and find it to be an effective system. The feedback we tend to get from supervision leaders who have attempted to set up supervision in their communities is that some challenges include, buy-in on an on-going basis, a lack of fundamental dc-s knowledge to get started, logistical challenges and burden on leader to do all the leg work, and having participants ready to share cases. 

 

We can help with that, too. 

 

Fundamental DC-S knowledge, Robyn K. Dean has online coursework related to the basics fo the demand-control schema and it is approved for CEUs. You can refer your colleagues to this resource if they are interested in finding out more. Alternatively, you can use supervision as a means for teaching the terminology and constructs. Also you can invite someone from IIRAS to present in your area on dc-s and supervision

Being responsible for all of the legwork is a challenge and can lead to burnout as a leader/facilitator - you may need to start by working through IIRAS before launching your own, separate group, or you may need to identify a partner in this work who can help with logistics including RSVPs, space reservations, CEU attendance tracking, etc. 

 

In terms of participants being prepared to share cases. We can help with that too, our Supervision Leading toolkit includes worksheets to help participants prepare before each session and be ready to engage in the process. This toolkit is in production, send an email using the link above to get on the mailing list for when it is ready.