Since 2009, ICAN has recognised the benefits of supervision for both staff and the organisation. In recognition of these benefits, ICAN has embedded supervision frameworks into its organisational culture. Professional supervision, which includes consideration of casework, professional development and personal support, is offered to financial counsellors working at ICAN and external organisations.
ICAN held a series of supervision training development workshops this week as part of its ongoing partnership with the Commonwealth Bank, to advance Indigenous financial counselling. Bernadette Pasco, Training and Workforce Development Manager at the Financial and Consumer Rights Council, facilitated the workshops with ICAN staff from its Cairns and Townsville offices.
During the Cairns-based workshop, Ms Pasco highlighted the benefits of having a good supervision framework within ICAN and other agencies. “Nationally, there has been significant advancement in the thinking about what the financial counselling sector needs to do to establish its professional status,” said Ms Pasco.
“One of these things is to have consistent supervision within agencies in terms of managing risk and consistent client outcomes; another important factor is to ensure that organisations can retain expertise by having happy and supported workers – consistent approaches to professional supervision are definitely a key to meeting National Standards and supporting individual workers.”
ICAN is working towards aligning organisational practice to the national supervision standards as a natural evolution following the embedding of these standards into its “Indigenous Financial Counselling Mentorship Program”, the financial counselling diploma training program delivered in partnership with the Commonwealth Bank.
“Our goal is to work in partnership with the FC sector to develop a supervision course for graduates of the Indigenous financial counselling mentorship program and their workplaces that addresses not only the clinical but the human side of supervision,” said Aaron Davis, ICAN CEO.
“It’s about making sure our graduates across Australia are tracking well in their work, their professional development and in their mental health,” he said.
Ms Pasco further emphasised the importance of involving all of ICAN’s staff in the journey. “It’s been great to have this time to talk to staff at all levels about the need for supervision to ensure best practice, and how a great professional supervision program might be developed,” she said.
“All staff have been keen to share their experiences, understanding and knowledge which has given great insight into the professional supervision needs of financial counsellors at ICAN.”
Over the coming year, ICAN will work with the Financial and Consumer Rights Council to develop a course for our target audience and hopefully build on the partnership.
“We’d like to see a national training group, working together to input into the final product,” said Mr Davis. “Financial Counselling Australia has set national supervision standards, it’s now about developing training to ensure all State and Territories can meet them.”