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Social work supervision in Singapore

Historical development and the way forward

Authored by: Peace Yuh Ju Wong

The Routledge International Handbook of Social Work Supervision

Print publication date:  June  2021
Online publication date:  June  2021

Print ISBN: 9780367250867
eBook ISBN: 9780429285943
Adobe ISBN:


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There is a keen interest in social work supervision in Singapore which is related to an urgent need to recruit, sustain, and develop social workers. The strong demand for competent social workers in Singapore, which is a small island located in South East Asia, is not a surprise, given that social work programs were established in the 1950s. The Social Work Accreditation and Advisory Board (SWAAB) has been advancing social work supervision in the local context. Since 2015, it has initiated biennial supervision seminars and developed Social Work Supervision Guidelines (2017). A recent study on the state of social work supervision in Singapore informs the local supervisory practice, by suggesting that there is no one “fixed” supervisory model being practiced across sectors, as this is based on individual, supervisory relationship, and organizational factors. In determining “the question of fit,” one needs to consider the 3 “C”s, which are choice, context, and collaboration. Moving towards a more ideal social work supervisory practice in Singapore, this article will discuss implications that are related to (i) supervisory practice; (ii) the supervisory relationship; (iii) organization level; (iv) professional & sector level; and (v) research agenda in advancing social work supervision in Singapore.

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