Manawanui : illuminating contemporary meanings of culturally effective social work supervision in Te Taitokerau/Northland. Research presentation
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Citation:Wallace, E L. (2017, September). Manawanui : illuminating contemporary meanings of culturally effective social work supervision in Te Taitokerau/Northland. Research presentation. Paper presented at ANZSWWER Symposium, Auckland University.
Permanent link to Research Bank record:https://hdl.handle.net/10652/4000
Being Māori in this millennium means being a part of the global community of indigenous knowledge. The repositioning of indigenous knowledge requires the disruption and decentralising of dominant discourses alongside the reclaiming of customary knowledge and practices that have been validated and passed down through generations. This study involved discovering how social work supervisors and supervisees determine what culturally effective (Eketone, 2014) social work supervision means to them; individually, professionally and culturally. This research asks the following question: What are the traditional epistemologies from Te Ao Māori that could inform and be integrated into a centralist position for contemporary social work supervision? Underpinning this study are the key principles of Kaupapa Māori research methodology giving an assurance that this study will be a journey of emancipation. Themes were analysed based on the participants own meanings of their social work supervision framework and social work experience. The qualitative design of this study entails the use of a single cross-sectional, one-to-one interview method and is exploratory in nature. Experienced registered Māori and Pākehā social workers were interviewed, in their roles either as supervisors or supervisees. The interviews were conducted in Te Tai Tokerau, Northland, which presented a unique cultural experience for social workers, as the region has significant whānau, hapū and iwi affiliations, with numerous rural communities being Tikanga-based. The findings show that unique learning opportunities are often lost when social work supervision approaches fail to engage authentic cultural dialogue. The participants considered culturally effective supervision being central to their professionalism. The consistent themes from the findings are: • culturally effective social work supervision entails customary knowledge and practices which enhance Wairuatanga. • culturally effective social work supervision is considered essential to ensuring professional competency and cultural, individual and professional wellbeing. • culturally effective social work supervision should be accessed by all social workers. In addition, the findings reveal that agency recommendations of culturally effective social work supervisors are more than often not used; rather, culturally effective supervisors are more often sought from cultural, relational or whanaungatanga networks. The findings show that cultivating best cultural practice when working alongside Māori often sits on the fringes of social work supervision approaches in Aotearoa. New examples drawn from current innovative cultural social work supervision designs that tend to sit outside the ‘norms’ of social work supervision conventions show real cultural commitment and enrichment, and potential conceptual frameworks for social work supervision.