This procedure outlines the role of professional supervision in youth justice practice.


When to use this procedure

When participating in the professional supervision process within youth justice.


What else you need to know

Make sure you have read and understood the following procedures:


Practice context and legislation

  • The Department of Human Services places significant emphasis on supervision as a mechanism to improve outcomes for young people and to support workers.
  • The key functions of supervision in youth justice are administrative, developmental and supportive.
  • Supervision is a process where supervisors and supervisees work together to improve young people's outcomes, meet departmental objectives, enhance learning, monitor the workplace environment and support staff.
  • Supervision also ensures due diligence and duty of care requirements are met for young people and staff.
  • All youth justice staff have the right to supervision that aims to maximise their work performance and contribute to their professional wellbeing.
  • While it is the responsibility of team leaders and team managers to provide a supervisory role in supervision, it is also the responsibility of each individual worker (as supervisee) to participate actively in the process to maximise benefits and achieve positive outcomes.
  • Supervision provides a means by which supervisors and supervisees can review and monitor allocated cases and other aspects of the youth justice role.
  • Standards have been developed to improve the quality, consistency and monitoring of supervision and work allocation at all levels.
  • Youth justice supervision standards exist because regular scheduled supervision is regarded as the most appropriate way to ensure effective service for young people, and monitor safe optimal workloads for workers. Supervision standards are designed to ensure:
    • the youth justice service meets, and remains accountable to, the performance of its statutory responsibilities
    • the best possible service is provided to young people involved with youth justice
    • youth justice workers receive the support, development and performance management they need to fulfil their roles
    • a safe work environment achieved through a proactive approach to occupational health and safety.
  • The five key Department of Human Services values provide a solid basis for supervision standards and a framework for service delivery. These values are:
    • young-person focus
    • professional integrity
    • quality
    • collaborative relationships
    • responsibility.
  • Youth justice workers are required to adhere to the Code of conduct for Victorian public sector employees.
  • See the Youth justice supervision standards for more information.
  • The Information Privacy Act 2000 regulates the collection and management of personal information in the public sector.
  • The Occupational Health and Safety Act 1985 provides a practical structure to establish and maintain a safe workplace and safe work practices.

Roles and key tasks

  • Supervisor
  • Supervisee


  • Negotiate supervision schedule and schedule supervision appointments.
  • Develop supervision agreement, in collaboration with supervisee.
  • Provide unscheduled supervision when required.
  • Organise group supervision sessions.
  • Provide live supervision as appropriate.
  • Prepare in advance for all supervision sessions, and ensure congruence with supervision agreement and progression, performance and development plan.
  • Monitor staff performance and compliance with youth justice policies and procedures.
  • Implement progression, performance and development process.


  • Negotiate supervision schedule.
  • Develop supervision agreement, in collaboration with supervisor.
  • Access unscheduled supervision when required.
  • Participate in group supervision sessions.
  • Access live supervision as required.
  • Prepare in advance for all supervision sessions, and ensure congruence with supervision agreement and progression, performance and development plan.
  • Provide necessary information to facilitate monitoring of staff performance and compliance with youth justice policies and procedures.
  • Participate actively in progression, performance and development process.

The procedure in detail

  • Give supervision priority
  • Types of supervision
  • Scheduled supervision
  • Unscheduled supervision
  • Group supervision
  • Live supervision
  • Shared responsibility
  • Preparation
  • Supervisor's role
  • Monitoring performance
  • Youth justice workers
  • Supervision agreement
  • Supervision record
  • Frequency of supervision
  • Responsible practice

Give supervision priority

Youth justice work is complex and challenging.

Regular consultation between team leaders, team managers and workers is a critical aspect of practice and integral for good decision making.

Types of supervision

Staff supervision can be categorised into four main types:

  • scheduled supervision
  • unscheduled supervision
  • group supervision
  • live supervision.

Scheduled supervision

Scheduled supervision is planned, one to one, held in a private setting and preferably uninterrupted.

Generally, scheduled supervision is held fortnightly.

Check the Youth justice supervision standards to determine the minimum frequency for scheduled supervision appointments.

Other types of supervision do not replace the requirement for regular scheduled supervision.

The supervisor and supervisee negotiate the supervision schedule, and document the date, time and duration of each appointment.

Organise supervision appointments dates well in advance and record in the Lotus Notes calendar.

It is the responsibility of the supervisor and supervisee to notify when an appointment is cancelled and reschedule a replacement appointment.

Unscheduled supervision

Unscheduled supervision is discussion of issues that require immediate attention.

Unscheduled supervision can be instigated by either the supervisor or the supervisee and does not replace the requirement for scheduled supervision.

Group supervision

Group supervision is a structured session with more than one worker to address one or more practice issues, team development or aspects of service delivery that will enhance quality outcomes.

Organised group discussions can occur in team meetings, staff meetings, training or specifically arranged group sessions.

Live supervision

Live supervision is the direct supervision of practice through observing the worker or as a method for the supervisor to model the skills and practice required by youth justice workers.

Shared responsibility

Both participants in a supervisory relationship are responsible for:

  • effectively using the supervision process
  • seeking solutions if it is not working.

Each participant will bring strengths to the relationship that will add value to the supervision process.

Where one party feels their needs are not being fully met, respectful communication assists with finding a way to address this.


Supervision time is more productive if both the supervisor and supervisee come prepared.

It may help to take some time beforehand to reflect, or keep a list of issues for discussion.

Supervisor's role

Supervisors are responsible for:

  • providing an environment that promotes active discussion and problem solving opportunities
  • following-up tasks agreed in previous supervision sessions
  • ensuring compliance with policies and procedures
  • monitoring progress towards reaching a young person’s case-plan goals
  • monitoring young persons' compliance with the general conditions, and any special or amended conditions of court orders
  • assisting workers in decision making
  • reviewing case notes, assessments and Client Relationship Information System (CRIS) case files and providing the worker with constructive feedback. Refer to procedure for 'File audits' for more information
  • ensuring that scheduled supervision sessions are recorded and copies are provided to the worker and the original kept confidentially.

Monitoring performance

Supervisors are responsible for monitoring staff performance and wellbeing, including:

  • ensuring that supervision agreements and performance plans adequately reflect relevant issues discussed in supervision
  • addressing progression performance and development system requirements. Refer to the department's guide to Performance management and development processes for more information
  • ensuring that the worker is aware that documentation from the supervision session can be used to address performance issues should the need arise
  • supporting the worker in their professional development through identifying learning needs and providing regular feedback on their practice and conduct
  • ensuring that the learning and development needs of a worker are considered as part of the handover process when the worker changes location or position
  • monitoring workers' emotional wellbeing and reactions to job stress and supporting them appropriately.

Youth justice workers

Supervisees are responsible for:

  • ensuring they have prepared adequately for supervision
  • considering items or topics for supervision and, where possible, communicating these to the supervisor before the session
  • ensuring young people's records, including case notes and reports, are accurate and up to date. Refer to procedure for file audits for more information
  • seeking consultation relating to planning, monitoring and review of young people's case-plan goals
  • reporting on young people's compliance with the general conditions, and any special or amended conditions, of court orders
  • plan and review care and crisis management of high-risk young people
  • following up tasks agreed in previous supervision sessions
  • actively pursuing identified learning or development options
  • actively participating in developing and discussing issues relevant to the performance management system
  • identifying job stress.

Supervision agreement

A documented supervision agreement is developed between the supervisor and supervisee.

This agreement includes:

  • the frequency and duration of supervision (consistent with frequency stipulated in supervision standards
  • a commitment to achieving the objectives of supervision
  • a framework to support the worker's performance plan
  • annual review or as required to meet organisational and the worker's needs
  • details regarding records of supervision
  • expectations of supervision.

Proformas for supervision agreements for community-based staff are provided in the Youth justice supervision standards.

Supervision record

A supervision record documents supervision details.

At the end of each scheduled supervision session, the supervisor and supervisee will complete and sign the supervision record.

Proformas of a supervision record for community-based staff are provided in the Youth justice supervision standards.

Frequency of supervision

New workers require more scheduled supervision sessions during the initial three months of their employment.

At a minimum, new workers are to receive at least one hour supervision per fortnight and consideration be given to weekly supervision.

It is expected that new workers will have access to live and unscheduled supervision.

For the frequency of supervision for Children Youth and Families (CYF) worker levels 1–6, refer to Youth justice supervision standards for details relating to supervision requirements for the.

Responsible practice

Supervision is not intended to reduce or replace the individual practitioner's responsibility for their own professional activity and development, effort and achievement.


Additional information