The promotion of human rights, equity, and social justice are central tenets in the social work discipline. However, as a profession, social work has experienced ideological fissures, leading to failures to capture the complexities of contextual and systemic influences in clinical practice. This capstone project seeks to address this dichotomy in education and practice by situating clinical supervision as the ideal pedagogical space for the development of justice-oriented practitioners.
In this presentation, the author will first report on the findings of a systematic literature review investigating the role of social justice in the salient clinical supervision literature. Next, the author will propose the rationale for a conceptual model for social justice–oriented clinical supervision. The Critical Relational Model (CRM) emerged during the analytic process, demonstrating the layered and contextual nature of clinical supervision (e.g.: sociocultural identities, power dynamics, systemic injustices).
Grounded in a constructionist metatheory and applied though a relational lens, the model draws from critical theories, critical pedagogy, anti-oppressive and decolonizing frameworks, while centering the supervisory relationship in the process of learning and growth. Last, the author describes how the model can be applied in clinical supervision to develop critical skills and meta–competencies, decolonize supervision, and promote epistemic justice. Beyond a supervision model, the CRM is a call to action.
Given the growing socio-political and racial tension in the US and emerging debates over the many manifestations of injustice, oppression, marginalization, discrimination, and human rights violations impacting individuals’ lived experiences, there has never been better time to reclaim social justice in the clinical arena.