[highlight-yellow]If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader. — John Quincy Adams[/highlight-yellow]

Dear Supervisors,

Thank you for taking on one of the most important, challenging and complex roles in social services. Thank you for committing yourself to manage and support valuable work through other people. You cannot be thanked enough for your dedication and hard work. Thank you.

This article has been motivated by my experiences as a supervisor, manager of supervisors, trainer of supervisors and consultant to and with supervisors. It has been inspired by thousands of conversations with managers, supervisors and frontline workers who have conveyed a need and/or desire for something BETTER; for themselves, for their work and above all for the important people they serve.

In my work with frontline workers and supervisors in child welfare, justice, child and youth care, and education I have come to know that all of these people, despite unique and specific differences, have come to their respective fields to make a positive difference in their own lives and in the lives of others. For many of them, this is what has brought them to the field and it is what keeps them there. It is their purpose and values that undergird motivation, focus and enthusiasm to carry out their work. Working in the social services industry can be exceptionally rewarding, however, it also comes with a great many challenges that can negatively impact how helpers experience themselves and their work. This reality makes your role as a supervisor even more important, yet increasingly challenging; because among your many roles and responsibilities is to support your staff with the various challenges, crises and stressors that they may encounter in their work.

This article was developed to provide all supervisors in social services, with insights and practical strategies for inspiring, motivating, focussing their staff and their staff teams to feel BETTER, be BETTER and do BETTER as they carry out their important work with children, youth, families and communities.