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Become a Supervisor

Everything you need to know about being a supervisor. 

Supervising CSWA's presentation by Former Executive Director, Randy Harnisch.

Supervising CSWA's.

Supervision of clinical social work associates.

Per Oregon rule, all clinical social work associates are required to only practice while under a board approved plan of supervision. A CSWA is not a license to practice without meeting the supervision requirements. Once you have read the materials below, and submit all qualifications, you may complete a plan of supervision to be assigned to a CSWA.

Supervisor qualifications

The minimum qualifications for supervisors include: 
  • Must be a licensed clinical social worker, clinical psychologist licensed in Oregon or a psychiatrist licensed in Oregon. (the latter two only for up to half of the required supervision hours) 
  • Must have completed two years of licensed practice prior to assuming supervision of a CSWA.
  • Must maintain an Active or Semi-Retired license by renewal and continuing education every two years.
  • Must have completed and reported to the board at least fifteen (15) hours of initial continuing education hours in techniques of supervision within 5 years prior to commencing the supervision of an associate and must complete at least six (6) hours of continuing education on supervision every five years;. Please see the Continuing Education page for a list of approved credentialing bodies.
  • Must have taken and passed the Oregon Rules and Laws Exam within the last five years, and every five years after.
  • Must be competent in the clinical specialty areas in which the CSWA will be practicing and with the population with whom they will be working with.
  • Must not be a spouse, relative, have a close personal relationship, or be a former therapist of the supervisee.

Submit required documentation by email to or fax to 888-252-1046.

Supervisor's role

What is supervision?

Supervision is an administrative and educational process involving a partnership among the State Board of Licensed Social Workers, the supervising Licensed Clinical Social Worker, and the Clinical Social Work Associate being supervised.

This partnership is aimed at enhancing the associate´s professional development and meeting the licensing requirements while being mindful of the responsibilities toward clients and community. 

The ultimate goal of supervision is to help associates attain professional competence so that they can enter the field of social work as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. 

When a Clinical Social Work Associate contemplates supervision from outside the agency practice site, the associate is responsible for securing written agreement to the supervision plan from the agency administrator. The supervisor is responsible for clarifying supervisory role responsibilities and the content of supervision. The supervisor is also responsible for addressing issues that might arise during such supervision with the agency administrator, including questions related to client confidentiality. 


Effective and responsible supervision

Supervision is a collaborative process resulting in the professional growth of the associate. Because the practice of clinical social work necessitates a purposeful use of self in the service of others, it is sometimes difficult, even impossible, to separate evaluation of a social worker´s professional activity from assessment of personality traits. In the supervisory process, discussion of the Associate´s personality and personal life is relevant only when these directly affect professional development and quality of practice. 
Supervisor and associate should be clear regarding their respective roles and should strive to achieve mutual acceptance of their shared responsibilities. Specifics related to fulfilling these responsibilities (e.g.: scheduling of conferences, prior preparation, use of conferences) should be agreed upon as quickly as possible in the supervisory relationship. Flexibility and adaptability in the supervisory process, including the willingness to obtain third party support and guidance, are essential to successful supervision. 
Both parties (with the supervisor carrying the major responsibility) should examine the associate´s learning needs, patterns, capabilities and any learning problems, in order to develop an educational evaluation. Included in this process should be recognition of the needs and reactions of both parties related to authority and dependency. 
The rationale for an educational evaluation is that it provides a guide to mutually determine the goals of supervision, a vehicle for the supervisor to responsibly share knowledge and experience, and an opportunity to select supervisory measures appropriate to the associate´s needs and abilities. This evaluation should be fluid and responsive to changes in the associate´s performance, in work responsibilities, or in the supervisory process. 
A climate of mutual respect and trust must develop for both to share relevant thoughts, experiences, and emotional reactions. The supervisory relationship should permit freedom to challenge, differ, experiment, and make and share mistakes. 
The supervisor should present a responsible and reliable professional model and simultaneously guard against any tendency to mold the associate in his/her image or to encourage compliant submission to suggestions. 
The supervisor is also responsible for stimulating the Associate toward an increased capacity for critical self-evaluation in order to promote learning from experience. In addition, supervisory emphasis on conceptual thinking will encourage transfer of learning to new or unanticipated experiences. 
Both supervisor and Associate share responsibility for stimulating the latter to enhanced self-awareness and to an increasingly responsive and disciplined self in all professional relationships. Comfort in the supervisory relationship is essential for both to freely examine their use of self in this and other professional relationships. 
Both supervisor and Associate shall recognize that commitment to the client and the profession supersedes commitment to the agency. There are occasions when such commitment may present practical and serious concerns to either or both parties. In such instances, sharing of concerns and problems within the supervisory relationship, and within administrative relationships, leads to clarification of the issues and modification or elimination of the problems or ethical concerns. Should these results not follow, confidential consultation with a carefully selected LCSW, a committee of a professional social work organization, or written inquiry to the Board may be helpful in determining the individual´s ethical responsibility and appropriate course of action. 
Clear, objective and substantive evaluation of an Associate´s performance on an ongoing basis is an essential part of a Supervision Plan. Evaluations, following joint participation in an oral conference, are useful to both parties in reassessing supervisory goals, content, and measure are to be submitted every six months It is helpful to the Associate to specify areas of focus and to recognize professional advances in knowledge and skill. 

Minimum Expectations

Read and understand Division 20 of the Oregon Administrative Rules in order to understand the process in which the CSWA goes through to be licensed.  

Associates must complete their approved Plan of Supervision within five years. 

They must document a minimum 3500 hours of supervised work experience of which 2000 hours are direct client hours. CSWAs must receive an average of one hour twice per month of face-to-face supervision for two cumulative years, for a minimum total of 100 hours of supervision with at least 50 hours of face to face individual supervision. 

Once a Plan is approved, the Associate is required to provide the supervisor with a copy of the Board Approved Plan and a set of Six-month Evaluation Report forms. These evaluations are to be completed by the supervisor. It is not a self evaluation, although feedback from the associate may be used to assist in goals and objections. The supervisor is also signing off that the amount of hours reported is accurate and reasonable to the associates clinical experience.
The supervisor must complete a written evaluation (on forms provided by the Board) every six months, and verify the hours of supervision. This report must be submitted to the Board no later than thirty days after the end date of that report. 

If supervision is ended or interrupted by either party, the supervisor is responsible for completing a final evaluation for that time period and forwarding it to the Board as soon as possible - but no later than 30 days after termination. These evaluations will be filed with the Board, and the Associate will be informed of the Board´s review and acceptance of the report. The board must be notified immediately of termination, or interruption so that the associate is placed on inactive status to remain in compliance.
Any interruption longer than 2 weeks where supervision will not meet the minimum requirement of twice per month requires an inactive status, or communication with the licensing specialist.

If an Associate requires a Plan change or modification anytime during the Plan, the Associate will need to complete the necessary forms and obtain board approval for the plan change prior to counting hours for that change. Hours in between plans do not count and will be considered out of compliance. 


Content of Supervision


  • Purposes of supervision and the necessity for a supervisory plan including mutually determined goals, responsibilities of supervisor and associate, and broad delineation of supervisory content as well as practical arrangements. 
  • Agency history and mission. 
  • Specific services offered by the agency, including any conditions under which services are offered. 
  • Organizational structure, including responsibilities of various positions and lines of authority and communications. 
  • Understanding of budgetary process and fiscal responsibilities. 
  • Accountability of agency and of Associate. 
  • Authority and limitations of agency. 
  • Basic policies and practices related to functioning as a social work professional of the agency. 
  • Organizational processes of program Planning and policy making. 
  • Community network of human services resources. 
  • Role of social work in the community network and the responsibility of the profession to develop community awareness of gaps in human services resources. 

Professional content 

  • Application of social work goals, values, ethics, and professional behavior in fulfilling responsibilities to clients, agency, and community. 
  • Requirements of the licensing laws. 
  • Associate´s identification with the profession and with agency purposes and practices. 
  • Personal management of time and effort. 
  • Strategies of Clinical decision-making. 
  • Determination of priorities to fulfill multiple role responsibilities. 
  • Interpretation and application of agency policies and practices in specific situations. 
  • Responsibility for, and contribution to, staff morale, including competitive behavior toward other staff members, difficulties in relating constructively to administrative personnel, or any wish for special consideration. 
  • Behavior in administrative relationships. 
  • Coordination of tasks with those of other staff members, both professional and support staff. 
  • Ethical and cultural considerations in public relations and Clinical practice. 
  • Contribution to ongoing evaluation of program, policies, and practices. 
  • Support in dealing with stresses, related to agency limitations, changes in agency function or administration, new role responsibilities, and/or demands of specific responsibilities. 
  • Ongoing evaluation of Associate´s performance with periodic formal evaluation of (a) performance and (b) supervisory goals, relationship, and measures. 

Practice content 

  • Stimulation of Associate's commitment to optimum service and to personal professional development. 
  • Assessment and identification of presenting problems. 
  • Application of social work values and ethics in specific situations, especially when competing values are involved. 
  • Stimulation of spirit of inquiry. 
  • Enlargement and application of knowledge of human behavior and of the social environment. 
  • Termination of the treating relationship. 
  • Development and management of the professional relationship and recognition of differences in its use in different social work methods. 
  • Maintaining Clinical/professional boundaries. 
  • Development of assessment diagnosis and treatment Plans and skills. 
  • Develop ability to formulate and implement appropriate therapeutic interventions and/or treatment approaches. 
  • Develop ability to identify and assess strengths and weaknesses of the Associate and its impact on delivery of services to the client.