In a lengthy career Deanne has worked as a frontline clinician, team leader, senior manager, consultant and educator in a range of NSW government and non-government organisations that respond to inter-personal violence, including child protection, sexual assault, domestic violence and workplace abuse.
Over the past 20 years Deanne has increasingly focussed on providing clinical supervision to social workers and other allied health professionals working in inter-personal violence services.
She now runs an independent practice ‘Social Work Wise’ www.socialworkwise.com offering clinical supervision to frontline workers as well as management coaching, training, policy consultancy and leadership mentoring. While Deanne has worked within current evidence based theoretical frameworks she is most interested in approaches that stay close to the foundational ethics of social work, including social justice ‘doing’, and respect for the inherent integrity and worth of each person. Deanne also does some teaching in Social Work Bachelors and Masters qualifying courses at a range of universities in NSW- as well as supervising students in field education.
Deanne’s approach to supervision, mentoring and coaching is based on developing a safe space in which to critically reflect on practice challenges and struggles. While she offers encouragement and support to assist workers to develop preferred professional identities, she does not shy away from candid, challenging and thought-provoking conversations. She is aware that each relationship is unique- and so tailors her style to her client’s needs, preferences, hopes and intentions.
Our conversation touches on Deanne’s social work career and her preferred approaches to supervision. We discuss her commitment to response based practice and the inspiration she find in the work of Vikki Reynolds. We also talk about the importance of separating clinical supervision from operational management and- importantly- how this relates to the discourse about burnout. Too often the talk around burnout involves the social worker being blamed for not looking after themselves -or for allowing a client’s distress to overwhelm them.
Deanne’s preferred approach is one of worker solidarity with a collective ethic of social justice. We need to connect with our communities for spiritual sustenance and our shared hopes for a fairer world.
Deanne provided the following links which will be of interest to listeners.
Response based practice:
https://www.responsebasedpractice.com/ (Allan Wade, Linda Coates, Cathy Richardson)
https://vikkireynolds.ca/ (Vikki Reynolds)
https://www.insightexchange.net/ (Domestic Violence Service management)
and Johnella Bird