All opinions expressed in the following piece belong to the author(s).
Forming the first DDP Supervision Group, Singapore
It is a great blessing to be able to form this very first Singapore DDP supervision group with such wonderful members. I remember the thought of forming this group started when I was lamenting how lonely it was to practise DDP in my organisation.
It was my then supervisor who challenged me to take the lead to gather like-minded individuals beyond my company to start this group. The idea germinated when Bernard, Cayden and I met to discuss the plausibility of forming this group beyond our practising agencies. Meanwhile Eunice, Qingfei and I discussed within our own agency. It took us by surprise to receive the welcoming response from others – Xin Rong, Louise, Cheryl, Abigail and Ling Fang.
By November 2019, 10 of us signed the supervision contract and the group was formed! Seven of us are from the Safe and Strong Reunification Services, 1 from the fostering service while my colleague and I are from Child Protective Service. After a year, we extended our sessions and Kit from Boys’ Town fostering agency and Tsui Ling from Melrose Care joined us. Altogether, we met monthly for 1 year and 4 months till we completed all our sessions with Hannah Sun-Reid in March 2021.
Due to the intensive work all of us do, our meetings had to take place from 8-10pm Singapore time. I must say this was the best undisturbed time where we could hear each other’s sharing, mull over crucial concepts and grow through the feedback of others on our case/video/audio presentations. Throughout this journey, I have gleaned some learning as below:
Work closely with your supervisor. Hannah has been wonderful in giving us clear guidelines but leaving us space to navigate through our limitations. She answered every one of our questions with detailed examples and processes. I remember raising some big questions at the beginning, which Hannah took time to answer, and slowly build our theoretical basis and skills. I am really very thankful for her guidance.
There is power in group learning. The team upholds respect, curiosity and PACEfulness throughout this journey. As we did this, it is clear how each of us grew in our practice and as a person.
There is never a bad case presentation. Many of us started this group being uncertain about our practice in DDP. The group flourished as we started acknowledging our fears, limitations and mistakes, and then opened up for feedback from the rest. There is always something in the others’ presentations that struck a chord in us. There is thus something we can always learn from each other.
It is worth the investment of time and cash. Professional development is priceless. But it is beyond tangible value when we see how our work has a positive impact on our clients. Many a time after the late-night meetings, I logged off my computer feeling full in my heart.
Due to the pandemic, the group could not meet physically. Now that our sessions have ended, my hope for our future is to forge our DDP network in Singapore to bring forth this PACEful practice to more families. It is my hope that we will continue to grow and support each other as our paths cross in future.
Publisher: ddpnetwork.org (Apr 2021)
Article Copyright © Sylvia Cheng, 2021