Strengths-Based Supervision (SBS) is a model of supervision that was developed for child welfare settings. The model integrates several supervisory processes that are conducted with the primary focus of supporting effective implementation of Family-Centered Practice (FCP). The model was developed in one southwestern state in 2008 and has since been adopted by other public child welfare systems and by private, non-profit settings. The purpose of this article is to describe the model and offer implications for practice.

Key Take Away Points

-Child welfare supervisors are responsible for ensuring the quality of child welfare practice by monitoring and mentoring the work of those they supervise.

-Considering parallels between the ways supervisors interact with supervisees and the ways supervisees interact with children and families, it is essential that child welfare supervisors develop supervisory processes that are strengths-based and family-centered.

-This article describes a model of supervision that was created for one statewide public child welfare system that seeks to support effective implementation of Family-Centered Practice (FCP) through supervisory processes.

Author Biography

Cynthia A. Lietz, PhD, LCSW is an associate professor at the School of Social Work at Arizona State University. She conducts research to evaluate and enhance effective implementation of strengths-based practice principles with children and their families.


The author would like to thank Arizona's Division of Children, Youth, and Families (AZ DCYF) and their Child Welfare Training Institute (CWTI) for their support in the development of this model of supervision.