Contemporary supervision practice has increasingly involved tasks previously associated with line management; this has been uncomfortable and unresolved for both supervisors and supervisees. Context, individual preference and circumstance can drive the relationship more into surveillance or more into support, and each will have important implications for practice. This article argues for a balance between monitoring and mentoring, both are crucial for effective supervision to occur. Supervisors need to know the boundaries of their delegated task, given that supervision can be the intervention of choice for any number of organizational difficulties. However they also need to integrate the leadership and critical appraisal tasks required, commencing supervision relationships with these components being transparent and clear, such that all participants can meet their obligations to practice competently, ethically and in the clients' interests. The systemic model provides an effective framework to conceptualise and intervene in relation to the various stakeholders, relationships, service systems and political context in which arrangements for supervision are negotiated.
Australian and New Zealand Journal of Family Therapy