Senior Support Worker; better communication with colleagues

An example of how creating a one-page profile can give better insight into how others perceive you and the qualities that they value. This Senior Support Worker found the process improved communication within her team and has assisted her personally in supporting Jennie to keep updating her own profile.

Written by Zoe, Independent Options

Zoe OPPMy name is Zoe and I work for Independent Options as a Senior Support Worker to Jennie; a lovely, bright, independent young woman. I work as part of a core team of five, supporting Jennie to live in her own home.

I have worked in social care for over 14 years and previously used person-centred planning tools but it wasn’t until Jennie moved into her own flat three years ago and I met with her Circle of Support that I first learnt about how to use one-page profiles effectively. Helen Sanderson from Helen Sanderson Associates is one of the people in Jennie’s Circle as well as her family and friends. Collectively Jennie’s Circle work with Jennie and her support team to make sure she is living life the way she chooses and putting support in place to help her achieve her goals. Helen is a person-centred thinking practitioner and so helped me to understand how to use one-page profiles to get the best results.  We supported Jennie to produce her own and as I work closely with her it was imperative that I had one too.

I found it really useful creating my own profile. Not only because it would help me to support Jennie to keep updating hers, as the things that were important to her changed, but also because it helped me communicate with the other people in the team about who I was and how best we could work together. It was also very nice to hear what other people thought about me in the ‘what people like and admire about you’ section.  Honest and dedicated are traits that I hold in high regard and it felt good that people recognised these traits in me.  I was also described as zany, bubbly and with fab style – this is the other great thing about one-page profiles – as well has holding specific information about how best to work together, it also gives a personal impression; a sort of personality snapshot.  Essential if you are working in a team as close-knit as ours.

One of the most useful outcomes that came from creating my one-page profile was that my colleagues described me as knowledgeable and approachable.  As a senior Support Worker I am often the first port of call for other people in the team needing guidance. I’m not big on hierarchical structures and I don’t like titles but I do take my responsibilities seriously and it reminded me that my team did look to me for that support. It was reassuring to hear that they felt that I had the skills and personality to deliver it.

We have since produced a team one-page profile combining what we all know about each other and what is important to and for us collectively.  I am sure that these profiles have improved our understanding and communication massively – all of which has contributed to Jennie’s ongoing success as she continues to grow in confidence and has new exciting experiences.

You can find out more about Circles of Support from Community Circles Groupsite, Facebook and Twitter.