This study explores perceptions of professional supervision and how it can be linked to a robust performance management system. The literature review gives an overview of the meaning and purpose of professional supervision. It also considers the complex context of child protection work that professional supervison takes place in. The key findings reaffirm that the management function is the predominant agenda in supervision. The agencys statutory and legal requirements drive current supervision activities. Key supervision deficits include limited time for reflective practice, formal appraisals and structured and regular feedback on performance. High quotas of staff to be supervised as well as other competing demands on team leaders are key barriers to the implementation of an integrated approach to supervision. There is recognition and acceptance that social work performance is embedded in professional supervision and team-based approaches to performance management. However for this to happen there is an organisational imperative to reduce the existing caseloads and workloads of both team leaders and social workers.