Effective professional supervision for children’s wellbeing

Content type
Event date

11 October 2023, 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm (AEST)


Julia Oxley, Katharine McLean, Joanne Donne, Dan Moss




About this webinar

This webinar was held on Wednesday, 11 October 2023.

Whether you work with children, adults or families, it’s important for all practitioners and service providers to consider the safety and wellbeing of children. However, in adult-facing services, practitioners may not always ask clients who are parents about the experiences of their children. Supervisors working with practitioners can ensure that children’s wellbeing is central to practice through safe, analytical and reflective conversations.

Asking a child-focused question of an adult client can be difficult, but this first question is a crucial first step for the child to access the help they need for mental health concerns, trauma, violence or family hardship. Supervisors can empower practitioners to have effective conversations with adult clients and in so doing have a positive impact on children’s physical, social and developmental worlds.    

This webinar held in collaboration with Emerging Minds will explore how supervision can improve practitioners’ ability to support children and implement child-aware practices.

This webinar will help you:

  • reflect on how supervision can influence child outcomes
  • apply or seek out supervision strategies that promote child-aware approaches  
  • consider how to include reflective practice as part of the supervisor-supervisee relationship  
  • cultivate supervision practices as a partnership where both parties can learn, reflect and develop.

This webinar will be useful to supervising practitioners and practitioners themselves who engage children, adults or families in case management, case work or therapy. Child-aware supervision practices are relevant to paediatricians, psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, family and relationship counsellors, child mental health practitioners and specialist counsellors, as well as GPs, allied health professionals and child protection workers. 

This webinar was co-produced by CFCA and Emerging Minds in a series focusing on children’s mental health. They are working together as part of the Emerging Minds: National Workforce Centre for Child Mental Health, which is funded by the Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care under the National Support for Child and Youth Mental Health Program.

Emerging Minds logo

DAN MOSS: Welcome everybody to today’s webinar – supervision for children’s wellbeing. My name is Dan Moss – practice development manager at Emerging Minds. Recently, Emerging Minds worked in partnership with the Bouverie Centre to deliver an online course that helps supervisors to have effective and supportive child-focused conversations with the practitioners that meet with them. That course can be found on the Emerging Minds website, at www.emergingminds.com.au. So, we’ve got some great panellists to meet today. But before we do, I’d like to recognise and pay respect to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the traditional owners of the lands where we work, play and walk on throughout this country.

We acknowledge and respect their traditional connections to the land and waters; cultural; spirituality; family and community, for the wellbeing of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and their families. So, today’s webinar is part of a partnership series that is co-facilitated between CFCA and Emerging Minds, focusing particularly on infant and children’s mental health. Today we’ll be considering how children’s mental health can be affected by the supervision processes that we work through to make sure that all practice is attending to children’s social and emotional wellbeing needs. These processes are possible in supervision with practitioners who are working primarily with adults, or those who are working primarily with children and families.

A big thank you to all of you who have submitted your questions. We’ve got well over 100 questions, and we’ll do our best to incorporate as many of those as we can in our conversation with our panellists today. We did get quite a few questions on professional supervision for practice with specific populations, and I don’t think we’re going to have time to go into those or give them the attention they deserve today. But we have noted those questions for future resources, so thank you. So, before we get into our discussion, just some quick housekeeping. Please send your questions – so keep the questions coming through via the questions box, in the GoTo Webinar dashboard, for the live Q&A session. Just to let you know, this session will be recorded. It is being recorded, and will be available about two weeks after this broadcast.

You can check AIFS News or the AIFS website under the webinar banner to find the recording. In the handout sections of your GoTo Webinar control panel, you’ll find some of the resources that we’ll be discussing, or others that relate to the topic. When the webinar finishes, or if you leave early, a short feedback survey will open in the new window. We really appreciate your feedback, and we’re always working to improve what we do with you. So, now it’s time to welcome our fantastic panellists. Really looking forward to talking with Julia Oxley, Joanne Donne and Katharine McLean today about their supervisory experience, particularly in child-focused ways. So, welcome.

JOANNE DONNE: Thank you.


DAN MOSS: I’m going to start with you, Joanne. You've got significant experience in teaching supervision practices. I want to know, can you tell us a little bit about this, and the strategies that you provide in this way?

JOANNE DONNE: Yeah. Thanks Dan. There’s probably three or four main things that I’d like to focus on, especially with new supervisees, or people who are starting out to be a supervisor for the first time. So, first of all, we have to remember that supervision is a part of our accountability with our work with clients. So, ultimately, supervision should help us in our work, to get better outcomes for the client. So, we often start with what we call a supervision contract or a supervision agreement that helps both the supervisor and the supervisee understand and negotiate roles and responsibilities. We talk about some of the tricky things, like if your supervisor has a dual role. They may be your manager or a team leader – how might that affect your relationship between the supervisor and the supervisee?

And how can we talk about any worries that you might have in that aspect? The second component is obviously learning and professional development. So, I think at the start of a supervision relationship, some really nice, engaging questions are – if you were the caseworker, the counsellor, that you aspire to be, how would you like to describe yourself? Or if you had a past client that you worked well with sitting here with us today, and I asked them, “what was really helpful about your work with Jo?” – what might they say? We talk about what does high support and high challenge mean for you in supervision. We talk about how you like to give and receive feedback. And then obviously around all of this is the element of support. Because supervision isn’t going to go anywhere unless there’s psychological safety. So, I might say things like, “I’m hoping that we can really learn from each other.”

“I’m not the font of all knowledge. I’m really interested in learning with you, as well as helping you achieve your learning goals, and focusing on understanding what’s been helpful and unhelpful for the supervisees in the past.” And around all of this conversation is obviously the culture – the culture of the supervisee, the supervisor, and the culture of the organisation. Also looking at basic things like what does confidentiality mean for us both? What are the limits of that in the organisation? So, they’re some of the basic components that I would start with when we’re starting a supervisory relationship.

DAN MOSS: Thanks Joanne. I’m really looking forward to hearing a bit more about that later. Katharine, you've got lots of experience with supervision, and also working with other organisations around supervision. What are some of the strategies you have seen or used to support child-focused practice?

KATHARINE MCLEAN: Yeah, thanks Dan. Just to segue on from all the beautiful comments from Joanne, I think really what’s most important is establishing the relationship right from the outset. Because without that safe and trusting relationship, practitioners and even supervisors will be challenged to critically reflect in an open manner. And so, some of the ways we can do this is by really engaging with supervisees from the heart and not just from our head. Recognising that we’re all actually here with the shared purpose of trying to improve the lives of the adults, children and families that we’re serving. So, trust and safety – psychological safety, as Joanne’s just mentioned – it’s so, so important.

Because supervision really is a safe space to share vulnerabilities, and that’s going to likely bring things up for people. So, we really want to make sure we’re creating a safe container for them to do that. So, some of the ways I’ve helped to foster that in supervision is really by naming a few things really early on. Things like it’s okay to make mistakes. You don’t have to follow this rulebook, as such. We just need to remain open to reflection, and ask the supervisee what their previous experience for supervisions look like. How have they taken on feedback in the past, and perhaps what have they found useful or perhaps not so useful? And in addition, I guess, what I would also be focusing on is asking about their strengths. How might they already be practising in a child-focused way, that we can draw on and build from there.

We don’t want to make any assumptions that people don’t already have the resources with them. So, also, if I was noticing any resistance from the practitioner, perhaps, around their level of comfort with child-focused practice, I would be really gently naming that early on – saying things like, “I’m noticing a shift in your body language, and I’m wondering if this is an area that you're experiencing discomfort around.” And, “perhaps we could spend some extra time unpacking it so I can better support you.” These are all things that we really just need to be able to lean into as supervisors. Also, another great strategy for child-focused supervision is for the supervisor to bring the child’s experience into the room. So, we can do this by reflecting genuine curiosity, and asking questions like, “what do you think little Johnnie might be seeing, hearing and feeling? How can we create opportunities to bring his voice into the room when you meet with his mum next?”

And so, if we are a collaborative partner with the practitioner, then that way they can actually experience the embodiment of this, and in turn use that approach in their work with clients. So, I also want to mention the Emerging Minds children’s wellbeing supervision course that you've just mentioned, Dan – it really does dive into this subject with a lot more detail. And so, anybody that does want to explore some of the ways to incorporate child-focused practice, please do go onto our website and have a look for that course for further guidance.

DAN MOSS: Great. Thanks Katharine. Now, Julia, you've got a wealth of supervision experiences, both in adult and child and family services. So, I’m wondering, what are the strategies that you use to build strong supervisory relationships, that I suppose allow for that safe and critical reflection?

JULIA OXLEY: It’s interesting. I echo exactly what Joanne and Katharine have already mentioned. And while they were talking I was thinking a lot about my own experience as a new supervisor, as well as a more established supervisor. And a lot of the work that you do in supervision echoes and parallels the work we do in work with our clients. And so, do a lot of our skills. But I think the big difference is how we use ourselves in supervision. And I want to be able to be a bit more transparent in how I work in my supervision, and I personally use a lot of my own examples of maybe when I’ve been struggling with things; and showing some vulnerabilities in my work as well. And I think that helps model some of the work that you want to be able to allow for the supervisee to bring to you as well.

So I know Joanne, you mentioned something earlier on about depending on the stage of supervision – so if it’s an early practitioner, you might need to do a bit more work in building that up. People often value supervision, and really do want a good, safe space to be able to reflect in. And so, you need to couple that support with criticism. I think – when I say criticism, critical feedback, critical reflection. And you need to be able to develop that trust to be able to get to that point. So, acknowledging that that might take some time to get there. That use of self, that showing some vulnerability of, “when I first started working in this area, I wasn’t quite sure. I wasn’t quite confident.” Some of the strategies I might have used, I might share with my supervisor as well, with the idea that the paralleling of the processes can filter down.

When you're working with a consumer, a client, you want to be able for them to be able to have some of that safety as well. So, exactly what Joanne and Katharine were saying – you want to be able to get to the point of developing goals. But commonly, the goals are fairly common. People do want space to be able to have some feedback, some critical feedback. But to be able to get to that, it’s really working up to that space. So, it’s really balancing that support and challenge aspect, kind of getting into those goals, and – I find I share a lot of myself in that space too, which probably is the bit that differs a little bit – I share myself differently in my client work. So, I think it’s a slightly different relationship with that. But yeah, that’s some of the things I might consider.

DAN MOSS: Yeah, great. Thanks Julia. I wonder whether I might ask you another question. And as mentioned, much of your work has occurred in adult-facing services. And sometimes adult clients might not always have traditionally been asked about their parenting status in those services. So, what’s been important for you in establishing the expectation of child-focused questions? Both in practice and supervision?

JULIA OXLEY: It is an interesting question. Because I think it’s often an area where people don’t feel confident in adult services – services with adult clients. I think I often start gently with being able to just bring up that idea of your client being a parent, and exploring with that supervisee what that might mean for the consumer; maybe what they think they might need to do with that. Also exploring alongside that what that means in an adult-focused service. So, what is the expectation of how they bring this work to – how this relates to their work, really. And I think that can be quite an interesting question to ask. Because I think sometimes, in my experience, people haven’t always wanted to ask the questions, because they don’t know what to do with the answer.

So it’s a bit of a, “what if I open Pandora’s box, and there’s all these things around the child that I need to then address?” But it might also be worthwhile to go back and say, “well, what does the organisation expect of you here? Is it just that you want to be able to honour the parenting role? Is it that it can be a point of getting in other help?” It’s about reassuring the clinician or the worker that you're working with that they don’t have to necessarily adjust everything, but that there is a responsibility that they at least be aware of what are the issues for the parenting, that might be pertinent to the consumer? Whether they have to do anything about that or not.

So the other thing I think I often reflect on is for parents, whether they’re people in services or not, their parenting is a big role in their life, and it’s something that’s often very meaningful for them. So, I think if we’re not honouring that in their life, that we’re missing a big chunk of their life. And I think that that often really does align with consumers’ goals. So, it’s not out of kilter with the work that we’re doing in an adult-focused land, which is around what they want to be doing in a recovery-focused kind of way. So, I think that that could be quite consistent with the work that they do in other aspects of a consumer’s life, in supporting recovery-focused practice. So, really just bringing it back into some of those basics as well. And often that the consumer can be quite afraid to bring up concerns they have around parenting.

So we may need to support – and that almost parallels the work that we’re doing with our consumers – that the supervisor’s afraid to bring it up, and the consumer’s afraid to bring it up, so it just doesn’t get spoken. So, allowing the clinician or the practitioner to approach that gently, and to acknowledge some of those concerns, and to almost pre-empt some of the worries and anxieties around that. So, you're not just looking for risks, and to rush to authorities with any concerns that might come up. It’s just exploring, and again, allowing that trusting relationship for the supervisee to have with their consumer. Yeah.

DAN MOSS: Thanks Julia. Joanne, Julia’s obviously talking about adult-facing services, but in services which are more oriented towards, say, children and their families, there can sometimes be a sense of a pressing need for parents to change. This might position practitioners in a more authoritative or directive position. So, in your experience, what has worked in supporting practitioners to work with parents in supportive ways, but whilst still keeping the child’s needs in mind?

JOANNE DONNE: Yeah, look, I think it needs to be acknowledged that this is hard work that we’re doing. We’re dealing with a lot of trauma, sometimes a lot of conflict between parents, sometimes very high distressed. So, it’s hard for both newer and experienced workers. And it can be frustrating when, if you're working with the child, you really want to ensure that child’s voice is heard when you're with the parents and the child isn’t in the room. But one of the things that, for me, I find is really helpful when I’m in that space, is to hold onto the thought that most parents are doing the best that they can in their parenting of the children. And if they’re coming into the room for a counselling session, or if you're visiting them in their home for an outreach visit and they are welcoming you there, that’s actually a huge step.

So I think that’s really important to remember. And if we hold onto that assumption that these adults are doing the best that they can at this point in time, and are asking for help, it really helps us position ourselves in a space of curiosity rather than judgement. And it really reduces the possibility, like Julia has just said, that we’re going to be taking on a more authoritative and teaching role to the parent. And so, if we can really take on that position, that helps us address the constraints that the parents are experiencing. So, we need to identify what’s getting in the way for them to be the parents that they really do want to be, and work in ways that reduce their fear of being shamed or blamed. And I might ask some questions about, “tell me about the qualities that you most love about your child?” and, “where do you think those qualities develop from?” and, “how might both of you have contributed to that?”

So like what both Katharine and Julia were saying about the importance of trust and engagement in the supervisory role, it’s the same with our role with parents. Even if the child is our main client, we need to get parents on-side. So, having that belief that parents are doing what they can; being curious; and addressing the constraints of the parents, I think we’ll get them on-side, so that they know that they’re not being spoken at, but we are working with them.

DAN MOSS: Yeah. Great. Thanks Joanne. Katharine, what are some of the effective supervision strategies you've observed in your experience, which help practitioners to have sensitive and respectful conversations with parents about how their experiences of adversity might be affecting their children?

KATHARINE MCLEAN: Yeah, look, I think it’s such an important thing that we just have these conversations in the first place. Because it really does speak to what Julia was mentioning about the fact that the parenting role is often the strongest motivator for change, but yet practitioners at times are not actually asking about that. And from our work at Emerging Minds and child and family partners, they’re saying, “we want people to ask us. Don’t be afraid to ask us about our relationship with our child.” So I think it’s just so important that we give ourselves permission to lean into this, because it’s what parents are actually wanting as well. So, I guess for me, as a supervisor, I really do believe that we have an opportunity and a responsibility to model to supervisees what curious, respectful and considered questioning really looks and feels like, remembering that for some staff, they are new to receiving supervision.

And they may also be new to the field. And so, they really do look to the supervisor as a role model for how to effectively implement those relational strategies and interventions, And some of which have come directly from that safe container of a supervision relationship. So, the way that we ask questions about the parents’ own parenting journey, as well as their experience of being parented – the warmth in our tone; the empathy we display; our ability to convey non-judgement and acceptance of their experiences with the client and the supervisee; as well as that curious line of questioning – this all models ways of interacting with staff, that then transfers to how practitioners can engage with parents to support children’s wellbeing. Because we really can’t expect practitioners to uphold child-aware practices if we ourselves are not fostering them within supervision, alongside that safe container built around mutual trust and respect.

So Emerging Minds does have a couple of really useful resources for this line of questioning. So, these are available in the handout section, I believe, for anybody that’s watching. So, a couple of the things that I want to make mention of are our practice positions. So, these were designed for practitioners. However, they are highly transferable, and they are the foundation for a quality, supervisory, child-focused practice too. So, they reference things like respect and curiosity and hopefulness, and what this really looks like in practice. And in addition, included within that same handout that we’ve made available for you, is what’s known as our PERCS Guide. So, they are a series of example questions that can be used as a guide to support conversations with parents and carers about the impacts of adult adversity on children’s wellbeing.

So these guides can be used in supervision as well to help unpack the possible experiences for children, as well as helping practitioners to potentially role-play or further explore practical ways of engaging parents in those conversations about the impacts of adversity on children.

DAN MOSS: Great. Thanks Katharine. Julia, as Katharine mentioned, some practitioners supervisors meet with might be very new, or in adult-focused services, they might find this idea about child-focused practice new, or even daunting. How do you overcome that? And what engagement strategies have you used?

JULIA OXLEY: Do you know, it’s interesting, and I’m thinking a bit about what Katharine and Joanne were raising – sorry, just to add onto the coattails of what you both said – I think it’s almost worth exploring the practitioner’s own values around this. So that idea that you were mentioning, Katharine, about inadvertently what message is coming across in their tone, or their delivery, is just as important as the words. We all know that in the work we do with our clients, and I think that’s really worth highlighting, and it kind of echoes some of those things you were saying too, Joanne, about that idea that our beliefs behind our work really do inform how we come across. So, if we’re – but I think with supervision, you've got a lovely opportunity to really explore and almost gently challenge some of those things.

But if people are inadvertently, without even knowing it, coming across thinking, “I’m here to find what’s wrong,” – because that’s often what clinical services and other services do – because the person’s come in distress, and things are going not so well in their life – and it almost sounds counterintuitive to look at strengths. And we know we should. We know we’re trained to do all that. But to really look at the assumption that a family is doing the best that they can do, but that they’re stuck and they’ve come here for help, just really does change how we – and can help challenge some of our ideas. And I think the other point I want to make was when I came into this work as a new clinician, I wasn’t a parent. That was really scary, to be able to ask about someone’s parenting.

 Because I’m thinking, “I don’t have any idea! What authority have I got to be able to advise, help, give suggestions? I have no idea.” So I think it’s about building up the clinician or practitioner’s toolbox. Having some of those questions that you talk about, Katharine, to be able to come and just gently ask. But beyond that, what do you need to do with that? So you can almost model some of that practice, and rehearse some of that in supervision. So, exploring those underlying values and assumptions that are potentially going to be more helpful. The client’s sensitive. They’re going to know when we’re looking for slip-ups. I’m now a parent. I know that when people give me advice, my mum default line is always going to be, “oh, are they criticising what I’m doing?” So we do need to be super sensitive in how we deliver that. And I think supervision’s a lovely opportunity just to be able to explore that, and own it.

I don’t know all the answers as a supervisor, like you were saying, Joanne. Actually helping the supervisee to also hold that position, and not necessarily knowing everything – but helping their client, their consumer, to help explore and understand things a bit better is probably the most effective thing they can do. But you need to have a bit of a leap of faith to be able to do that. So, you're kind of, again, parallel in modelling some of that. And again, going back to my earlier point, talking about times when I didn’t know all of this was really – can be really helpful for supervisees to think, “oh good. I can start practising and exploring some of these things from an early practitioner point as well.”

DAN MOSS: Yeah. Thanks Julie. Katharine, obviously part of your work at Emerging Minds is working with organisations to consider strategies for child-focused practice. And in terms of child-focused supervision, what can organisations, or what do organisations do, to ensure that this supervision occurs consistently and effectively, and transfers to practices outside of supervision too?

KATHARINE MCLEAN: Yeah, it’s a great question. Firstly, I’ll touch on the need for child-focused supervision to be prioritised, and not placed on the backburner for what may often be perceived as more pressing matters. So, this really does need to come from the top-down, where an organisation both gives permission and creates space and time for this commitment to be made, and to happen at regular intervals. So, not all organisation, unfortunately, have strong supervision systems in place. And the implementation of it is often left to individual team leaders, and consistent practices and processes then for recording and reflecting on previous sessions. It’s just so important for continuous improvement and accountability. Particularly if a supervisee feels they’re not receiving consistent or effective levels of supervision to support their practice – then they’re just not well supported.

But if they’ve got policies and things in place, that they can actually then raise this with HR, and they know the organisation has made a commitment for this to occur, then they’ve got something to actually support them. So, this also ensures that organisations are held accountable for training their supervisors in effective supervision practices, and not just leaving it to chance, which, often again, that happens. So, if you're an organisation that includes both clinical and operational supervision into one session, it’s also useful to consider using a template, for instance, that guides you, to keep on track with key areas of focus, so as to not lean more heavily to the operational side, which often does happen in our busy NGOs – is that the demands of the operational matters actually takes precedence a lot more than reflective clinical supervision.

And I think it’s important that we name that. But the other part I also wanted to speak to about this question is what happens outside of supervision? Because effective, child-focused practice begins in the organisation, with its values, its culture, its policies, its procedures, its intake processes, and the service offering in general. These all need to be focused on an awareness of the experiences of children, regardless of whether they are the primary client or not. It can even be helpful to develop a reflective checklist within your organisation – something to consider. How do you policies and processes and frameworks reflect children’s voices, their right to be heard, whether we’re working directly with children or not?

How do our intake processes, for example, ensure that we’re asking the right questions to determine the experiences of adult parents? How do our practices reflect the needs and aspirations of children from their perspective?  So these are just some of the practical ways that organisations can consider the important role that they play in supporting early intervention approaches for improving children’s wellbeing.

DAN MOSS: Yeah, great answers. Thanks Katharine. Joanne, just continuing on from what Katharine’s saying there – in your experience, what can organisations do to support supervisors to provide good supervision?

JOANNE DONNE: I’ll just echo once again what Katharine has just said, Dan, and that is to ensure that both the supervisor and the supervisee have no guilt in scheduling regular supervision times in their diaries. And look, we are all very, very busy. We are all dealing with waiting lists. We are all dealing with lots of organisational issues and client crises. However, I like to think of practice supervision, clinical supervision, as or oxygen. It’s our oxygen cylinder. And we need that oxygen regularly to sustain us in our work. So, the organisation needs to allow diaries to reflect, and not just to reflect, but expect that that supervision does take place. It should be also outlined in the supervision contract that I mentioned earlier, when a new supervisory relationship is happening.

I also think that having a space for supervisors to meet together, so supervision for practice or clinical supervisors, that can be in a group setting, can be a really important space. Not to be sharing what my supervisor – not what my supervisor said or did, but, “what are the issues for me that I’m struggling with as a supervisor, when this situation comes up for me?” So a little bit of a parallel process in what we’re doing with our supervisees – doing that in a group with other supervisors can be a really useful idea. So, I would invite organisations to think about how they might do that, or how they might partner up with other organisations if they’re in a rural community or a remote community. Are there other organisations in the region that could partner up with that? I think the other idea, when we’re talking about organisational support, is to have a formal expectation that there is an annual supervision review between the supervisor and the supervisee.

And of course, once again, this shouldn’t be like a school report. I know I rather we have a formal document, but it’s a document that really facilitates conversation: “what’s been the highlights for you this year in terms of your practice? What are some of your learning edges that you think we need to continue to work on? And how do you think we’re going together? Have there been times when I, as your supervisor, have dropped the ball a little bit? Have I been too challenging? Or has there been times where you would have wished I’d have pushed and challenged you a bit more?” So I think those conversations are really, really important, and that it really adds to a trusting and a really robust relationship between the supervisor and the supervisee. But I think the organisation needs to have an expectation that there is both the time for those regular supervisions to occur, and regular reviews of the supervision to occur as well.

DAN MOSS: Thanks Joanne. Julia, in our online course, supervision for children’s wellbeing, you talked a little bit about the importance of accountability in supervision. Tell us, as a supervisor, how do you provide both support for the practitioner but also accountability within supervision?

JULIA OXLEY: It’s a big word, accountability. And it sounds a bit daunting. Because I think we often have lots of things we’re accountable to, and supervision, as a process – as a process of accountability – as well as having accountability within supervision, I think. So, I think there’s a number of layers to think about, that comes to mind for me. And touching a bit on, again, Katharine and Joanne – just to feed off what you said – that you've got accountability to your client, ultimately, and that should be part of the supervisions role. And that’s what are some of the content and the goals that you're going to be covering over in supervision, and issues that might come up that you have concerns around practice – it’s really around practice, to be able to provide the best care for our clients, really.

And what you do about that as a supervisor really does depend on your role; whether you're a line manager or professional supervisor. And it might need to be covered off in things like contracts. So, what happens when I have got concerns? How do we address that? How do we escalate that? That’s one of the things that I think about. There’s also organisational accountabilities. And I think it was mentioned before about that competing role, sometimes. And sometimes it does feel competing, when you've got line management and clinical or professional supervision that’s happening together. And how do you juggle the expectations and the accountability of the organisation and to your supervisee can get really tricky. And I think you touched on that earlier, Katharine. And certainly there’s no easy answers to that. If it’s all going swimmingly and smoothly, then great.

But I think sometimes it’s really important to put some preventative strategies in about that. So, whether it’s some sort of structure that was talked about earlier, or being really clear about, “as your line manager, I need to let you know about XYZ. And now I’m going to be really clear about what role you're taking.” And that supervision can be another way of being really – holding both roles in mind. Ideally speaking, you're not going to necessarily want to mix the two, but some organisations, you don’t have a lot of choice about that. But having said that, I think accountability can be hard when you're a clinical supervisor, and you don’t have that line management responsibility, and you need to address some concerns you have in practice, and how you might handle that and where that gets its [inaudible] 00:37:20 can also be challenging.

So I think they’re really important processes to be upfront about with your supervisee and within your organisation. And sometimes those things that come up in clinical supervision do pertain to risks to clients, and those sort of things, as well as poor practice. So, it’s just about being really clear about what the responsibility is for the practitioner, what needs to happen. All those sort of things you need to be clear about, as a supervisor, about the roles and responsibilities. Again, I think the idea of accountability – prevention’s better than the cure. And being really – and how you set that up is the key to success sometimes. And just keeping in mind that your ultimate responsibility, your ultimate – and I think someone mentioned this earlier – you're ultimately responsible to the clients of our service.

So all of these structures and supports and processes really do honour what our consumers and clients want and need, and has to happen to keep them safe.

DAN MOSS: So you're really starting to talk about some of the micro-skills in supervision there, particularly around reflective practice. And all three of you have spoken a little bit about reflective practice today. And we’ve got a host of different questions coming in from our audience on reflective practice. So, we might get a little bit into that now. I might start with you, Joanne, and ask if you can describe the importance of reflective practice in supervision? And how can we help practitioners who might be feeling stuck with children or families?

JOANNE DONNE: Yeah. Reflective practice, I think, is utterly essential. As a number of people have said, this is hard work. We are in situations where our own buttons might be pressed, where we feel triggered about what our clients might have said. So, we need to have a safe space in order to unpack, “what is it that’s triggering me? And how am I going to be able to stay connected and contained, and maintain focus on what I need to do with the child or the parent?” So the concepts of Michael Carroll’s, that the reflection on action in supervision – so, “what was done? Can you tell me a little bit about where you were heading when you were asking that line of questioning? Were there things that you would like to have said? What did you notice about yourself in the session?” Reflection in action.

So, “as we talk about this now, what’s happening to you? What are you leaning in towards, and what’s making you draw away from these particular questions?” And then there’s reflection for action, and that’s, “what ideas, after our conversation today, will you be taking into your next session?” So if you notice, these are all questions that are not coming from the supervisee in a position of being expert, but gently facilitating and challenging the supervisee to be thinking about, “yeah, what was it that made me not go down that particular line of questioning? Even though I realised I should have actually noticed that Dad turned away when we talked about X, Y and Z. What was it about that that made me not do that?” Reflective questions help us to consider what our own personal beliefs and assumptions are, and what our trigger points are.

So I just think it’s really, really important. We often use the high support, high challenge metrics. And I quite often, in the middle of a supervision, I might just say, “so, where are we at the moment in terms of support an challenge? Am I giving you enough challenge alongside enough support?” And the supervisee may say, “well, actually, I’m finding this pretty confronting at the moment.” And I might think I’m being very gentle! So we need to calibrate and continually check in with our supervisees, how much we can invite that reflection and what their limits are. But at the same time, supervision is also about learning and developing, and making mistakes, and learning that, as Scott Miller says, “how to fail successfully”!

And I remember I was in a session with a girl. She was about eight; a little girl. And she was telling me about something that went wrong at school, and she mentioned the word ‘fail’. And I said, “oh, so you thought it was a fail?” And she said, “yes,” with this big smile on her face. And I said, “oh! You're smiling when you say that.” And she said, “oh, Joanne, don’t you know what fail means?” And she said, “first attempt in learning.” And I thought that was brilliant. And I think if we can have a supervision to reflect – yeah, these are first attempts in learning for both of us, sometimes. But that’s terrific.

And there’s a couple of very practical resources that are easily available on the net, and that’s the Supervision Toolkit with Daphne Hewson and Michael Carroll. And I also make use of Vikki Reynolds’ Zone of Fabulousness, and Zone of Balance, in quite a lot of reflection; in both an individual context and a group context as well.

DAN MOSS: Thanks Joanne. Katharine, we’ve talked a little bit about new practitioners, but there’s probably some very new supervisors watching today. And for those new supervisors who might not be as confident, what might what you recommend to support their practices?

KATHARINE MCLEAN: Yeah. So, I think this is a lot more common than we realised, and I think it’s important to again speak into this. Because we all have to start somewhere. And I just love that quote from that little girl, Joanne. It’s just beautifully. So, I think taking that sort of approach around failure, we really just need to be recognising that we’re all learning, and we’ve all got to start somewhere. And for practitioners, often they are promoted to the role of supervisor, because they have demonstrated quality practice. But often at times they’re not always supported in how to transfer those skills into a supervisory relationship, and often they’re doing that with people that used to be their peers.

So I guess the first thing I would say here is ensure that the supervisor has access to quality supervision themselves, and really to use that space to lean into the edges of discomfort that they may be feeling, and to know that supervisors, yeah, they also struggle with feelings of, “am I doing it right?” And because of that, they need to debrief. So, they need to keep their supervisory relationships really clear of that projection and potential miscuing that can occur if they don’t have a safe container themselves to debrief with their supervisors. So, I guess the other thing I’ll also mention again – I’ve been plugging Emerging Minds all day today, so I’ll keep going! – is that we’ve got a couple of really great courses that I really would recommend, for any new supervisor.

There’s a whole host of courses truly, but one of them would be child-aware practice, as really a foundational learning for anybody that’s new to – not just – well, anybody that’s new to child-aware practice. Because really it’s the foundation. And as I was mentioning before, we need to make sure, as supervisors, that we actually have enough skills and experience and know-how to be able to speak to and communicate about the topics that we’re wanting practitioners and staff to also embody, and grow and learn through as well. So, yeah, the child-aware practice would be a great foundational learning course, as well as of course the supervision for children’s wellbeing. Both of these would help scaffold an understanding and knowledge base, and really make for robust discussions within the relationship with their supervisor. And obviously both of those courses are on our website.

DAN MOSS: Great, thank you. We love an Emerging Minds plus, so well done! I’m going to now move into the live Q&A, because we’ve answered some of your questions, but we’ve got a whole host remaining. So, there’s quite a few questions on group supervision, which we haven’t touched on yet. And Joanne, I might start with you, by asking you your thoughts on how group supervision can help develop some of the aspects of child-focused practice that might be discussed in one-to-one supervision. What are its strengths and limitations?

JOANNE DONNE: Strengths and limitations of group supervision, okay. Well, first of all I think it’s a fantastic forum for – and a really possibly enriching forum for colleagues to get together and really share resources, ideas and experience. I think that there needs to be a very clear understanding and agreement by everyone about what the purpose of the group supervision is, and what are the expectations of everyone present. So, is there going to be a formal facilitator? Is it just going to be, “oh, I’m struggling with this case, and I’ll just tell you about it,” and, “give me your ideas”? That sort of group supervision runs the risk of inviting opinion, and telling, rather than being curious and asking the presenter about what the struggle is for them.

So I’m probably a proponent of a structured way of group supervision. I think a structure enables focus and purpose. The presenter needs to be given some time to prepare for group supervision so that they can think through, “what are my stuck points? Why did I choose this particular family to present to everyone? And what is it that I am wanting from my colleagues in this forum?” So I think some basic things like group agreements. What does respect mean? What does confidentiality mean? They need to be nutted out and written down and adhered to. What the presenters wants from the group, and what they don’t want from the group. So, sometimes people do say, “look, I actually am really stuck, and I would like some questions that make me reflect, but I’d also like you to tell me what you might do in a similar situation.”

Other people might have different ideas. So, I’m a proponent of a more structured approach to supervision, to minimise that more reactive response, telling response, opinionated response.

DAN MOSS: Katharine and Julia, I’m wondering if you have some thoughts on group supervision? I might start with you, Katharine.

KATHARINE MCLEAN: Look, I think I probably am going to stick with what Joanne has said. I think it’s such an important aspect to try to allow opportunities for staff to be able to learn from their peers. Because I think that is something that – you can obviously gain a lot from the supervisor/supervisee relationship, but there are really only two people in that container. Whereas when you expand out and you actually put yourselves amongst colleagues and peers who also have their own ways of navigating and working in a best practice way, yeah, of course, your knowledge is only going to expand and grow from there.

So for me, it would just be – I’m a proponent for it. I think we should do more of it, and look for creative ways to really help people to stretch into what’s outside of their comfort zone. It feels like they’re being exposed a bit. But you know the rich depth of practice, I suppose, that comes with it, is really worthwhile.

DAN MOSS: Yeah. So,me questions here, Julia. I suppose getting back to Joanne’s comments – how much does group supervision really depend on the group or the team really being on the same page, in terms of what they believe about this?

JULIA OXLEY: Yeah, I think you're right. I think there’s a lot of set-up work that you might need to do – a bit like what Joanne was saying – to make this a success. And I also think it’s a different skillset. I think it depends on our training, really. Some people are trained better in one-on-one, and other people have got good training in groups. And I think that we can’t underestimate group skills to facilitate. It’s a slightly different skillset. And like what you're saying, Katharine, when done well, it’s really lovely. But I think the anxiety of the presenter can be turned up by ten, because you've got – there’s that peer stuff that’s going on: “what if they don’t think I’m doing the right thing?”

I think that can be – what you don’t want is unintended consequences of it being actually a really negative experience, and almost exposing of where people aren’t always aligned. So, I think it really is – I would absolutely agree with you, Joanne. It’s all about the structure. It’s all about getting the purpose. My – I’ve seen it done well. I’ve seen it done not so well. And when it’s not done so well, it is in terms of where there’s not necessarily that safety; that pre-work hasn’t been done; the structure’s not there; the purpose isn’t clear. Where it’s done well, it’s that that holding is held very expertly. And when it’s done well, it looks easy. I think that’s the other thing. You underestimate the little duck legs working under the surface. But there’s a lot of extra skills.

I think the other thing that when it’s done well – and again, I’m not saying anything new here – I actually think it’s about being really clear about what the presenter, who’s brave enough to put themselves in a vulnerable position – sticking to what they want, rather than what we think they want, or what we think they need. And again, I think that echoes a lot of the work we do with our clients. But I think it’s just the sensitivities can get turned up a lot. So, it does require a lot more setting up of that safety.

DAN MOSS: Thanks Julia. Katharine, you mentioned before thinking about some templates that organisations and supervisors – child-focused supervision. I’m wondering, can you talk maybe a little bit more in-line with that, around what practitioners can do themselves to prepare well for effective supervision, when they’re going to meet their supervisor?

KATHARINE MCLEAN: Yeah. I think it’s a really important point that you raise. Because I think often people assume – well, I certainly have this experience where they come to supervision for their very first time, and plop down on the couch, almost expecting that something’s going to happen to them. And we really just need to name that for people that often have – sometimes have not had great experiences. So, they come in with a lot of angst around what to expect and what’s to be expected. But I think ultimately, what I always try to support practitioners to understand is that it’s a mutual relationship. It’s an ongoing dynamic that unfolds over time. But it’s important that they take responsibility for the things that they want to be discussing and talking through. So, I always would set that up in a supervision contract or agreement, right from the outset, that both parties need to come with their own agenda items.

And then that way, the supervisee can prepare their own questions, or topics or challenges that they want to unpack, rather than just seeing it as a performance based discussion that only requires a general update. But I think that that’s what leads sometimes to feelings that supervision is almost like a tick-and-flick, and without any real substance or benefit. And like Joanne had beautifully described, it’s kind of like that oxygen tank, that oxygen cylinder, that it actually can be, but oftentimes people feel like – yeah, it feels more performative; like it’s just actually a place they come, and they just regurgitate what their case notes say, basically. And that doesn’t create depth and the opportunities for the knowledge that can actually be born out of those discussions.

So it is a really important place for practitioners to come and to be well-prepared for supervision, and to know that it is a place for critical reflection, but it’s not actually all sitting on the supervisors’ shoulders to take the heavy lifting role in order for that to actually transpire. It really is a mutual two-way relationship.

DAN MOSS: Thanks Katharine. Joanne, a question for you from our audience. Thinking specifically about children’s voices and children’s preferences or concerns, are there ways that both supervisors and practitioners can use these preferences, voices and concerns, in supervisory sessions, to keep the process on track?

JOANNE DONNE: Yeah. Great question, whoever wrote that. I think one of the things I often think about after a session, and I might want to debrief with a colleague, I might start to talk about something, and my colleague might say, “oh, and did you say that?” And I say, “oh no, I wasn’t able to say that.” So when we have a voice – it might be a recording, or it might be that the supervisee has written down or just remembered some of the words or some of the interactions – and that’s brought into the room, I think that really makes supervision come alive. So, as Julia said, we actually need to be focusing on what our clients, or what is most important for the child. So, “if the child was sitting here in the room and they heard you say that, what meaning do you think they would make of that?”

So I would be asking questions of what the supervisee noticed about the child; when the child was being drawn in; when the child maybe was distracted or turning away; and what the supervisor felt they were able to do to bring that in the room. But I’m a real proponent of asking, “what was said? What were the words that the child actually used? Or what was the behaviour that you noticed in the child? What do you think that they were trying to convey to you?” So you can do that via an empty chair. You can do it by role-play. You can do it by remembering what it is that the child was wanting to have different by coming to see you, and having that written down in front of you so that you stay on focus. So, I think there’s all of those things, and there’s a lot more. But having the child’s voice in the supervision room, I think, is really critical to maintain focus.

DAN MOSS: Thanks Joanne. Unfortunately, we’re running out of time. We are going to continue this conversation in another recorded session, answering some more of your questions, which will be available on the AIFS website a bit later. But for now, I just want to thank our presenters, Julia Oxley, Joanne Donne and Katharine McLean, on some really nuanced And sophisticated answers to those questions. So, thank you to all of you.

JOANNE DONNE: No problem.


DAN MOSS: I also want to thank my audience. We just had such an array of amazing questions, which really I think raised some of our considered thoughts that is happening in practice, to make sure that supervision is quality and that it’s child-focused. I’d also like to thank Jo, Erin and Mel from the AIFS CFCA and Comms team, for making this webinar run smoothly. Thank you all. Just a reminder about the feedback survey. Please, if you've got a couple of minutes before you log off, please remember to fill that out.

And just lastly, we have another webinar as part of this series between Emerging Minds and CFCA, on the 25 of October. So, not long now, actually; in a couple of weeks. And that’s on supporting children’s wellbeing when working with separating parents. So, you can head either to the AIFS or the Emerging Minds webinar for details on how to register for that one. I’ve really loved being able to bring our guests to you today, and have this conversation. I really appreciate all of you tuning in. And we’ll see you next time.

DAN MOSS: Hi everybody, and welcome back to the extended Q&A part of our webinar, which is supervision for children’s wellbeing. Welcome back to Katharine, Joanne and Julia. Thanks for coming back and answering some more of our audience’s questions. The first question is for you, Katharine, from our audience members, who are wondering – picking up on some of your comments about what organisations can do. What are some of the strategies organisations can use to recruit, train and develop practitioners who already work in child-focused ways?

KATHARINE MCLEAN: Yeah, sure. So, look, it’s important, I guess, to highlight that the strategies we would use to hire practitioners are also applicable for hiring of supervisors as well. Because we really can’t expect staff to be child-aware or child-focused if their supervisor isn’t. But some of the ways I’ve found this previously, in my role as a supervisor and team leader, is I’ve been really explicit right from the stage of the advertisement, around the parameters of the role; really making it clear that it is child-focused; that skills and experience in delivering family interventions are required; and then really ensured that the interview questions allow opportunity to drill into the applicant’s own understanding of child-focused practices.

And I’ve also used this point of contact to really demonstrate how the organisation that I was working for upheld child-focused approaches and policies, as well as examples of how we were supporting this in practice through our learning and development activities, and our foundational courses that we would have available to staff to embark on when they started. And so, right from that stage of onboarding then I’ve always put together really comprehensive onboarding plans, including the requirement for those foundational trainings. And Emerging Minds was one of the providers that we used. So, making sure that new staff could have that foundational learning in those first couple of months. And so, in addition to that, all new staff were then buddied up with another staff member, with strong child-focused practices for that on-the-job training.

And then we would also use then the container of supervision to unpack and explore their understandings of the online trainings, and its application into practice, as well as using reflective questions from within the courses during peer supervision meetings, to help support integration of their learnings. So, those are just some of the ways that I’ve worked previously with embedding child-focused practices at the stage of recruitment, all the way through to onboarding.

DAN MOSS: Great. Thanks Katharine. Julia, a question for you from our audience goes back to this idea of reflective practice. And just wanting to hear a bit more about the strategies that you use to build strong supervisory relationships that actually allow for critical conversations and reflections to happen in a safe space.

JULIA OXLEY: I think just to echo a bit of what Joanne and Katharine were saying before, about some of the strategies they talk about, I suppose I just wanted to overt in answering that, is there’s a real – a couple of things. You want to be able to match the strategies with the developmental stage of the practitioner. So, in the early stages of their supervision they may be looking for answers. So,meone mentioned that earlier – Joanne, you might have mentioned that earlier. So, there’s a real want for them to get some real practical answers. And there’s a temptation to provide that. And I think you need to think about how you do that whilst still allowing them to think about their own responses, think about what their own thinking was, and almost slow it down a bit – a bit like the Michael Carroll stuff, those frameworks that Joanne talked about beautifully earlier.

And to be able to allow them to really explore and understand where they’ve come from. I think sometimes it’s appropriate to give answers, but sometimes they have their own answers too. And I think it’s holding that for them, and asking questions in a curious way so that when you're providing other ways of thinking about it, or some of those reflective questions, it’s not coming across from a position of criticism, but it’s coming across from exploring possibilities, exploring generally what’s gotten in the way of being able to take strategies that they might kind of know, but not have confidence to step into.

So holding that idea of curiosity, holding that idea of, “let’s just have a think about what this might mean, or what might be going on,” allows for you both to not necessarily always have the right answers, and to have a bit of a safety in being able to say, “well, if we had have done that, maybe there would have been unintended consequences.” Or, “what about these options?” And, “I’m wondering why this might not have happened that way.” And it just allows for you to not necessarily be in a position of being the source of the truth. And I think that’s the temptation, and that’s sometimes where you feel pushed into as a supervisor, when there’s a lot of anxiety coming from the supervision and the supervisee. But just being able to recognise and hold that back.

Sometimes I’ll even say, “gee, it feels like this was a real sore spot for you,” and talk about what that process might have been happening for them in the room. “What did you notice? What did you feel?” It allows for those conversations to take a different tack. And again, it’s that same point that a few people mentioned earlier. Again, you're modelling that idea that you don’t always get it right, and it’s okay to not get it right, and it’s okay just to use this space to explore different responses and different avenues of thinking.

DAN MOSS: Great. Thanks Julia. Joanne, a question for you, and our final question – can supervision or child-focused supervision, make a distinct improvement or positive change in the way practitioners work, both with children and their families? Have you got examples where this happened?

JOANNE DONNE: Well, I certainly hope so! Because that’s what we’re all being paid to help develop! So look, I think that the answer is very definitely. As I said before, this supervision is a space to refill our oxygen tanks, to re-energise, to review, “how full is my fuel tank at the moment? What do I need to do to bring it up to the fullest mark?” So if, as both Julia and Katharine have said, supervision needs to have the focus of talking about whatever needs to be talked about, for the better outcomes of the client, then yes, definitely. So, I mentioned before about annual reviews at the end of the year, about how supervision is going. However, really, the review needs to happen each time we meet.

And so, after every couple of supervisions, I might be noticing that there’s a similar situation that’s coming up with the supervisee, and they’re describing it differently, or they appear different in their manner, in the way they talk about it. And as we unpack that, they say, “yeah, I realise I’m a little bit more confident in this area.” So I might be asking, “what do you think your clients might be noticing about you that might be a little bit more different now, given this confidence, than, say, three months ago. And what does that mean to you?” So I think getting our supervisees to feel that they are facilitating their own change – it’s not just because of us – is really important.

And I think that there’s a really good resource on this. It’s called the Pleased Platform in the Daphne Hewson Toolkit. And it asks a lot of micro questions on, “what is going well?” And, “how do you know that things are going well? What was said? What was done? What was different?” And so, that’s a very reflective way of asking into change, not just with the supervisee but within the family. And I also think that unless we make space for our supervisees to reflect on what’s going well, and not just what they’re struggling with, we’re not going to be advancing through those stages of supervisory development that Julia talked about. So, there has to be a degree of confidence and acknowledgement about the changes that we, as supervisors are noticing, and the way in which we invite our supervisees to notice that themselves.

DAN MOSS: Thanks so much, Joanne. That’s all we have time for today. So, if you can join me in thanking our presenters, Katharine, Joanne and Julia. There’s been some wonderful answers to some really great questions put forward by our audience. So, thanks for all the questions. Thank you to all for joining us, and we’ll see you next time.

Related resources

Related resources

Online Courses

  • Supervision for children’s wellbeing 
    This online course from Emerging Minds provides supervisors with a framework for working with practitioners to improve engagement with children and families. It includes supervision with those working in adult-focused services as well as those working with children.
  • PERCS Free conversation guide for professionals and parents 
    This psychosocial discussion tool from Emerging Minds is intended to support collaborative, respectful conversations between professionals and parent-clients about their children. The guide is designed to help professionals explore the five important domains in a child’s life – Parent-child relationship, Emotions and behaviours, Routines, Communication and meaning-making and Support networks.

Practice Papers


  • In focus: Talking with parents about their children 
    This resource from Emerging Minds includes the PERCS Conversation Guide and other video resources (from practitioners and parent-partners) intended to support collaborative, respectful conversations between professionals and parent-clients about their children.
  • In focus: Parent-child relationships 
    This resource from Emerging Minds includes information on how practitioners can support the parent-child relationship. It includes videos from practitioners and parent-partners that offer guidance on how to navigate child-centred conversations with adult clients.
  • Reflective Supervision Toolkit 
    This resource from Daphne Hewson and Michael Carroll includes various micro-skills in supervision, including reflective practice, and how to include them in your service provision.
  • Zone of Fabulousness 
    This resource from Vikki Reynolds, Lana Fox and Chloe Gammon aims to assist with resisting vicarious trauma with connection and collective care.


  • Supervision for children's wellbeing – Part 1 
    This podcast from Emerging Minds features guests from The Bouverie Centre who share supervision strategies that focus on the wellbeing of children. It includes details on reflective practice and how supervision can improve practitioners’ skill and confidence.


Julia Oxley profile image

Julia Oxley is a mental health occupational therapist and family therapist who has vast experience in both Adult and Child and Youth Clinical Mental Health Services, in clinical and managerial roles and in establishing up family related programs. She has worked at the Bouverie Centre as a trainer and family therapist.

Katharine McLean profile image

Katharine McLean is the Senior Child Mental Health Advisor for the Social Services team within Emerging Minds Partnerships and Implementation Team. Katharine has been working in the child and family sector for the last 22 years in frontline practice and supervisory positions spanning early childhood, homelessness, family support, post adoption and children’s mental health programs.

Joanne Donne Practice Manager Family and Relationship Counselling, Relationships Australia, South Australia

Joanne Donne works as the Practice Manager for Family and Relationship Counselling at Relationships Australia offering clinical supervision and training to RASA staff, as well as working within the reflective team in the family therapy clinic. She has worked for over 25 years in different organisations as a family therapist with children, couples and families who are struggling with a broad range of issues including the impact of family violence and separation. 


Dan Moss - Emerging Minds

Dan Moss has been Manager, Workforce Development at Emerging Minds since 2017. Previously he worked as Assistant Director, Performance, Reporting and Evaluation at the Department for Child Protection. In this role, he worked closely with the Early Intervention Research Directorate to explore the social determinants of child disadvantage and child protection involvement. Dan worked for Uniting Communities for fifteen years, as a practitioner, supervisor and senior manager in a range of services with children, parents and families dealing with the effects of family violence, child sexual abuse, mental health conditions and drug and alcohol use. As a practitioner, Dan had a strong interest in narrative engagement strategies with children, parents and families. Dan’s PhD thesis included research on approaches to men’s behaviour change programs and a creative writing component.