Leadership and Management

Leaders and Managers in Social Work

Dr Orlanda Harvey
4th August 2022

One of the challenges often faced by Social Workers stepping into management and leadership roles is the complexity of that leadership role, which asks them to balance a whole range of potentially competing priorities. They are responsible for leading colleagues, motivating them to succeed, providing supervision, managing resources and project planning.

According to Fisher (2009) Social Work managers and leaders are more effective when they have a theory base from which to develop their leadership skills and as social work is an evidence-based practice, this would seem to make sense. Moreover, many of the relationship- based theories that social workers draw on when working with clients and service users are often transferable and applicable when supporting team colleagues.

We have a Leadership Development Pathway to support the development of social work leaders and allied health and social care professionals.

  • Postgraduate Certificate in Leading and Developing Services
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Leading and Developing Services
  • Masters in Leading and Developing Services

The pandemic gave us an opportunity to take some time to rethink and develop our teaching strategy to meet the needs of professionals and practitioners working in the community and in in Spring 2022 we launched our new Strategic leadership Unit.

This mixture of four live virtual workshops spread over a number of weeks, and weekly self-managed learning workbooks, which included a range of learning materials, including discussions with key Strategic Leaders proved to be very popular with our students, who could study in their own time at their own pace.

For Autumn 2022, we will be launching a new Evidencing Professional Learning Unit: Leading and Managing Teams.

The aim of the Evidencing Professional Learning (EPL): Leading and Managing Teams unit is to critically reflect on your capability and capacity to understand and manage / lead yourself and your team.

This Master’s level unit is designed to enhance knowledge and skills on team leadership and management of those in leadership and management roles. Students will be able to gain a systematic understanding of relevant literature including a critical awareness of current issues and recent research related to leading a team.

This unit aims to address the needs of new managers and leaders in health and social care who have responsibilities for supervising or leading teams and will support them to develop the practical skills to manage a team.

The current environment calls for high levels of sustained performance from individuals and teams. Getting the performance management basics right is essential in the form of behaviours, structures and processes. However, the presence of this basic performance architecture does not guarantee success; rather success comes from a supportive organisational culture which encourages high performance, staff who challenge and support each other and leaders who model appropriate behaviour.

Students will critically reflect on their leadership style and skills, extending knowledge of themselves when engaging with colleagues, and will apply this understanding to practice. They will have the opportunity to explore a range of team management and leadership models, delegation, motivation, the role of the leader as a coach and mentor as well as models for giving feedback and dealing with conflict.

This course consists of online blended learning and teaching methods; including ‘live’ virtual seminars, case studies, recorded presentations, reflective activities, tutorial support and online resources provided through Bournemouth University’s virtual learning environment. Small group tutorials will also be offered to discuss the assignment.

Meet the author(s)

Dr Orlanda Harvey

Senior lecturer in Social Work
Orlanda is a senior lecturer in the Social Work Team, specialising in Developing Professional Relationships and Leadership. She completed her doctoral research in 2020 exploring men's recreational use of Androgenic Anabolic Steroid Use. Her research interests include: Image and Performance Enhancing Substance Use, Domestic Violence and Abuse, leadership, and reflective practice.
View full profile
NCCDSW © 2024. All Rights Reserved | Privacy Policy
Website Design Dorset - Good Design Works
Skip to content