THE PROBLEMS OF SUPERVISOR’S TRAINING IN LATVIA
Authors: Kristine Martinsone, Ivans Janis Mihailovs, Maija Zakrizevska
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Nowadays, supervision gradually becomes as an integral, or even obligatory part of the professional operation, especially in areas, in which a human is placed in the middle – in the environment of health, or social care. Problems that concern both the client / patient, and relationships between the specialist, and client / patient, and about possibilities of the specialist to observe professional demands, ethics, as well as hardship with a client / patient at work are reflected in the supervision, where the supervisor and supervisee participates.
Supervision in Latvia has become as an obligatory demand during the training both of specialists (psychologists, psychotherapists, art therapists, social employees, pedagogues, health persons) during studies, and the further professional operation. Right the supervisor must undertake the responsibility for the client / patient and specialist, if the supervision happens in the framework of study praxes. It means that determined general knowledge, skills and attitudes are required from the supervisor, as well as professional knowledge, skills, attitudes, qualities of personality, morally ethical maturity. In addition, the context must be taken into consideration where the supervision, focus of organization, profession, social, economic and work factor happens.
The target of article is to actualise the issue on training problems of supervisors in Latvia, analysing the existing situation and regulation that is a pre-condition for the qualitative development of supervision system in the state.
The analysis of experience of scientific literature and supervision education is in the basis of article.
In 2006, a following definition of the term supervision was included in the Law on Social Services and Social Assistance that respectively determines the operation of social work system in Latvia: the “a consulting support for the specialist of social work (supervision) is the total of methods provided for the operation of social employee to improve his professional competence and to provide him a psychological support to increase the quality of work”.
Therefore, the issue of the lack of supervisors is actual for the development of profession, and their potential training. Therefore, at the moment a new conception in the training of supervisors is developed in Latvia: to develop and license the program of professional improvement (presupervisor), in which professionals of different areas with Master Degree in a respective specialty and at least with the experience of 2 years would start studies in the area (specialty). This program should provide the possibility to obtain general knowledge, skills and attitudes, necessary for the supervisor, understanding the specifics of supervision in different work environments. For example, any supervisor must acquire different forms, kinds, focuses, dimensions of supervision, must acknowledge functions of supervision, must orient in his rights and duties, must conform to standards of ethics, etc.
In turns, the development of specific knowledge, skills and attitudes of the sphere of professional operation is the task of professional associations.
Thus, with the help of interaction of formal and non-formal education it is possible to solve an essential problem – the lack of supervisors and to warrant the development of new specialists in the future. Simultaneously, one of the strategic tasks of higher education systems of Latvia – to develop a cooperation of higher education and professionals (professional associations) – will be solved.