The RELATE framework

A framework for reflective supervision

Complex care is hard work, and frontline staff who provide direct participant care need support and mentorship from their supervisors to grow their skills and avoid burning out. RELATESM is the framework for reflective supervision that we use at the Camden Coalition and teach to organizations and individuals across the country. 

Supervisors’ first instinct is often to either fix things for their staff or tell their staff what to do. Being trained in RELATE helps supervisors instead create space for their staff to become self-aware, resilient problem solvers. 

RELATE stands for the six core elements of complex care delivery and participant engagement that supervisors should reflect on with their staff:

R: Relationship
E: Emotion
L: Limits and boundaries
A: Agency
T: Teamwork
E: Ecosystem

The RELATE framework also includes tools for how supervisors can deliver feedback to encourage self-reflection and problem solving in their frontline staff.

RELATE is often paired with our COACHSM patient engagement framework for frontline staff, but supervisors do not need to be trained in COACH in order to learn RELATE.

Check out our Camden Coalition Learning Center to learn more about and register for upcoming RELATE trainings. If you are interested in an organization- or program-wide training, contact our technical assistance team at

“Patient-facing work is hard work: it’s emotionally and physically draining. Burnout often happens when staff are operating in an environment that’s not supportive. Just having a supervisory structure that allows you space to give mentorship and support to your staff is critical.”

— Renee Murray, Director of Teaching & Training

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