Strengths-Based Supervision is a model of clinical supervision that supports effective implementation of family-centered, strengths-based practice in child welfare. Developed by Cynthia Lietz (2013), SBS integrates the following four components to monitor and mentor social work practice:

Parallel/Model the Principles of
Family-Centered Practice

Integrate Crisis and In-Depth
Supervisory Processes

Utilize Individual and Group
Supervisory Conferences

Fulfill the Three Functions of
Social Service Supervision

Cynthia A. Lietz, PhD, LCSW is Dean of Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions and a professor in the School of Social Work at Arizona State University. Cynthia conducts research that informs strengths-based practice with youth and their families. Specifically, she applies the construct of resilience to family systems examining the ways family units cope with and grow stronger despite trauma, loss and other challenges. This includes looking at the strengths (e.g. empathy, social support, spirituality) and the adaptation process that helps families overcome adversity.

Cynthia is particularly interested in the translation of research to practice. As a result, she developed Strengths-Based Supervision (SBS; Lietz, 2013), a model of clinical supervision that supports effective implementation of family-centered practice in child welfare settings. This model has been adopted by the public child welfare systems in Arizona, Florida, Texas and Idaho, and infused into training material at several additional organizations including the Butler Institute in Colorado, and the Virginia and Arizona Chapters of the National Association of Social Workers.

Prior to coming to ASU, Cynthia worked in social work practice for over ten years working with families involved in the child welfare system. She was a clinical supervisor, field instructor, and later the clinical coordinator of a counseling program. She is known for her passion to advance social work practice through rigorous scholarship that demonstrates real world impact and through her role as a social work educator and public speaker.

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