MSW Supervisor Certificate Program

Dean Nina Rovinelli Heller

UConn Launches New Program to Develop Supervisory Skills

Many MSW supervisors find themselves in contributing roles without the skills, knowledge, or support required to effectively lead for both the well-being of their clients and team. This is in part due to a lack of available resources paired with undeveloped educational opportunities and the continuous evolution of practice. A critical need exists for the development of continuing education for this subset of the social work service field.

Supervisors are at their best providing guidance and support to staff via an experiential lens. However, while experience can be a defining factor of a strong supervisor, basic tools are needed to convey knowledge through an effective means of management. Effective supervisory models include teaching and mentorship facilitated by a number of advanced communication techniques. It is pivotal to build these components. Observations indicate six basic areas in need of development:

  1. Increasing Skills in Individual and Group Supervision
  2. Teaching Social Work Assessment Skills
  3. Advancing Knowledge of Health Challenges
  4. Strengthening Knowledge of Mental Health & Substance Use Challenges
  5. Building Capacity among Staff for Effective Practice with Families
  6. Confronting Performance and Organizational Challenges

Filling this void, UConn’s School of Social Work, in conjunction with a team of social work practitioners and supporting grants from the Health Foundation of Western & Central New York and the Florence V. Burden Foundation, developed a unique 36-hour, 6-day program focused on the maturation of some of today’s most relevant skills for MSWs in supervisory roles.

UConn’s School of Social Work Dean, Nina Rovinelli Heller, PhD states, “MSW supervisors face many complex issues when supervising direct practice workers across the life course.”

UConn’s Social Work Practice FellowsMSW Supervisor Certificate program is expected to become one of the field’s most engaging opportunities geared specifically towards supervisor development.