Putting a face to a name: telephone contact as part of a blended approach to probation supervision

Jane Dominey*, David Coley, Kerry Devitt, Jess Lawrence

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

89 Downloads (Pure)


This article is about the experience of telephone supervision from the perspective of practitioners. It is set in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, which changed and challenged the nature of probation supervision and required service users and supervisors to communicate remotely, using the telephone, rather than by meeting face-to-face. The article explores some of the impacts and consequences of telephone contact and examines the extent to which this approach has a part to play in future, post-pandemic, ways of working.

The article draws on findings from a research project examining remote supervision practice during the pandemic. Fieldwork (comprising an online survey and a series of semi-structured interviews) was conducted between July and September 2020 in three divisions within an English community rehabilitation company. The article reinforces the importance of face-to-face work in probation practice but suggests that there is scope to retain some use of telephone supervision as part of a future blended practice model. Further thinking about telephone supervision might consider these three themes identified in the research: remote working limits the sensory dimension of supervision, relationships remain at the heart of practice, and good practice requires professional discretion.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)394-410
Number of pages17
JournalProbation Journal
Issue number4
Early online date10 Nov 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2021


  • Covid-19
  • probation supervision
  • blended supervision
  • professional discretion
  • relationships
  • telephone supervision


Dive into the research topics of 'Putting a face to a name: telephone contact as part of a blended approach to probation supervision'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this