Marisa Little – Practice Leader, Oranga Tamariki

"The Professional Supervision family had such a richness of experience and encouragement that it was a joy to participate in the lessons."

“While working as the Practice Leader for the Anglican Trust for Women and Children, I wanted to challenge myself with postgraduate study, so I chose the University of Auckland’s Postgraduate Diploma in Professional Supervision.

“The diploma gave me the tools, knowledge, skills and networks to develop a better sense of best practice in real time. It has increased my confidence in my own journey and made me realise that I can take on challenges at a higher level, that will benefit not only those who I work directly with, but the profession as a whole – including preparing for submitting journal material for publication. I also gained the confidence to deliver conference papers at three professional conferences, in New Zealand and overseas.

“I really enjoyed the support of my peers, and it was great to have discussions about how we would take our learning back into our work spaces. Studying with a group of like-minded people from different places throughout New Zealand, and different disciplines, provided a richness of discussion and application exploration.

“I am now a Practice Leader for Oranga Tamariki; and work as part of the site leadership team, including the Manager and Supervisors, to influence practice, identify trends of workflow, opportunities for improvement and encouragement for best practice in everything we do. I provide professional supervision to our supervisors; and act as a conduit between our site and messaging from the Chief Social Worker’s office.

“I love working through ethical challenges with social workers and seeing their practice and confidence grow; as they gain an intrinsic joy from being able to do the job that they plan to. Providing professional supervision is such a privilege and supporting exploration of challenges in practice, navigating the notions of self in practice, and active and mindful reflection of how we deliver social work to those who need it.

“I would definitely recommend the programme to anyone who is in a role that involves supervising staff in the helping professions – or just working with people to improve their confidence in their own skills and knowledge, and service delivery. This programme has applications in both social services and private industry – as it positions the role of supervision within the profession of practice, and the individual within it.”