Perspectives of social workers and supervisors about the supervision of protective services

Mei Kuei Yu, Min Yu Liao*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Summary: Although numerous studies have quantitatively examined the different aspects of supervision, such as satisfaction in clinical and student supervision, empirical evidence on current practices in the supervision of protective services is limited. The present study explored barriers that protective social workers and their supervisors (line managers) face with respect to supervisory support. Moreover, the perceived challenges related to supervision were identified. The participants were recruited from public and private protective service organizations across Taiwan. In-depth interviews were conducted by the authors on 10 social workers and 10 supervisors. Findings: Through the analysis of the transcripts, four themes were identified: emotional responses, knowledge components, modeling of values and creation of a culture of equality, and tensions related to supervisory accountability. Exploring protective social workers and supervisors’ perspectives on supervision is essential for understanding the complex needs of these employees. Applications: The present findings fill the research gap on the supervision of protective services and constitute a foundation for future studies on this subject. The findings contribute to the literature on the supervision of protective services, which is beginning to address issues concerning supervisees’ emotional responses, supervisory knowledge, supervisor–supervisee relationships, and supervisory accountability. Potential limitations of the study were also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)485-502
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Social Work
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2023 May


  • domestic violence
  • Social work
  • social work practice
  • social work research
  • social workers
  • supervision

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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