Supporting staff working with Children's Teams

All who work with children are supported to make brave decisions.

This page contains information on the expectations on managers with staff working in Children’s Teams and outlines the Lead Professional Supervision Policy.


Manager’s responsibilities

As an employer, an organisation is expected to operate a personnel policy that covers the provision of good and safe working conditions, opportunities for the enhancement of individual employees, and ensure that all their employees maintain proper standards of integrity and conduct.

Each manager will:

  • employ and support competent workers
  • safety check staff
  • provide day-to-day support, administrative supervision and management
  • support staff to step both into and out of the Lead Professional role
  • provide opportunities for ongoing training and resources, where relevant to maintain professional requirements
  • support and encourage Lead Professionals to participate in relevant Children’s Team training opportunities
  • support information sharing by providing the person with access to ICT capability such as access to use ViKI
  • ensure the person works efficiently in a way that strengthens and achieves positive outcomes for the child and their family and whānau
  • address any concerns with the local Children’s Team Director.

Safety checking requirements

Children have a fundamental right to have all their needs met and to be safe from abuse and neglect. We are committed to growing a safe and competent children’s workforce who can play their part in keeping vulnerable children safe.

The manager is required to undertake safety checking for their staff member stepping into a Children’s Team role including the Lead Professional and Child’s Action Network role, to meet legislative requirements. The Children’s Action Plan is leading this change in employment practice right across the children’s workforce.

Lead Professional Supervision

Supervision requirements

The Children’s Teams Lead Professional Supervision Policy has been developed to guide best practice in supervision in the context of Children’s Teams.

Since practitioners and professionals will be working with highly vulnerable children and their families and whānau we need to be able to support the person working with them to achieve great outcomes. Hence, supervision is a compulsory requirement for Lead Professionals in Children’s Teams.

The manager will provide individual supervision for the staff member in the Lead Professional role and support them to take part in peer or group supervision organised by the Children’s Team.

Definition of supervision

Supervision is a regular scheduled opportunity for a professional practitioner to meet with other professionals skilled and trained in facilitating critical reflection of self and work. This is an opportunity to discuss professional issues and receive feedback with the objectives of:

  • ensuring quality practice
  • supporting continued professional competence/development and practice improvement
  • supporting the practitioner’s wellbeing.

Individual supervision

Individual supervision, provided by a designated supervisor, is an important part of ensuring the practice of a professional, the supervisee, is professionally safe. Supporting practitioners is part of achieving professionally safe practice. Aspects of supervision therefore include the following:

  • Monitor and promote the welfare of the people (clients) the supervisee is supporting through their practice as a professional
  • Promote self-reflection and personal awareness
  • Assist in the identification of professional and personal needs and strengths – in this case in relation to the general and specific competencies of the Lead Professional role
  • Promote professional development and identify future goals and resources for learning
  • Promote professional ethics and cultural competence
  • Promote development and growth in specific areas.

For a Lead Professional, this would constitute individual supervision as required for their profession; match the level of experience of the professional or practitioner.

Supervision principles

The following principles would be expected to be used to guide the approach of supervision of Lead Professionals:

  • Practice focused combined with a cross sector way of working: Children’s Teams are modelling a different way of working with a child and their family/whānau, and amongst agencies and NGOs.
  • Challenge and affirmation: exploration of ways of working aimed at achieving the best results for the child and his/her family and whānau
  • Reflection: an opportunity for purposeful, critical reflection of practice.
  • Support and Strengths-based: focus on what’s working well, building on the child’s and the strengths of the family and whānau
  • Solution-focused: solution building rather than problem solving.
  • Restorative: the demands of work and the balance of wellbeing of the Lead Professional

Access to personal information by the service provider supervisor

The home agency supervisor may need to have access to a child’s case and related family and whānau information to be able to provide effective supervision support and guidance to a staff member.

Orientation and training

The Children’s Team will ensure that Lead Professionals (and CAN members) are familiar with all Children’s Team policies, principles and operating guidelines when working with a vulnerable child and their family/whānau.