Teamwork – staying true to what we’ve stated as important

An excellent example of how a team one-page profile can help people work collaboratively.  There are five core people supporting Jennie day-to-day; by having one profile they can easily represent themselves and what is important, to new and existing people in Jennie’s life and in particular to her Circle of Support.

Jennie's Team one-page profile

Jennie’s Team one-page profile

Written by Zoe Robinson

We work as a team for Independent Options to support Jennie to be safe and well whilst trying out new things, have positive life experiences and to personally develop. Jennie is a bright independent young woman with learning disabilities and autism.

Jennie moved into her flat three years ago which is why it is so important that we as a team are matched well with her and each other as we work in her home. Having produced our own one-page profiles and supported Jennie to produce hers, we decided it was important to have a team profile too. There are five of us that work closely as Jennie’s core team. We needed to document and record what was important to us and for us because these are the things that we had come to learn were important to Jennie’s happiness and safety too. By having a team profile we hoped it would help us work better together, appreciate each other’s contributions and individual personalities. We also wanted a way of communicating what we were striving for collectively – to represent our outlook so that as the team evolved we could be consistent in our support of Jennie.

We each wrote our own one-page profiles, asking each other what we like and admire about each of us and recording what was important to and for us as individuals. We then used this information to create a team one-page profile. Not only did this process help us get to know each other better but we were also able to share it with other services within Independent Options and with Jennie’s Circle of Support to improve their understanding about who we are and what we stand for. For Jennie, it gave her one sheet of paper with the photographs and statements of the people who support her; something which she is very proud of.

The most rewarding part of producing a team one-page profile has been the way it has helped us to work together. On it we have stated the things that are important, such as always listening to each other, respecting each other and being consistent in the way we support Jennie. Having this recorded keeps us on track and focused in our roles. We have also communicated how other people from outside the team can support us by providing good supervision and clear communication, again making it easier for people outside of the team to work with us collaboratively.

When new people join the team they produce their own one-page profile and are added to the teams. This helps reduce all the awkward questions that people can be faced with when first working together.  It means that we don’t have to try to work each other out as we have all the important information on one sheet of paper. Just like the team profile, our individual profiles change and develop with us and with Jennie. Revisiting them is an excellent way of reviewing what is working and what isn’t. Are we respecting what we have each stated as important? Are we supporting each other to do the best job we can do? And crucially – are we being true to our purpose and keeping Jennie at the heart of everything we do? This is a question we as a team ask ourselves regularly, it is what makes us strong and our profile empowers us to make it happen.

Jennie’s mum Suzie has been sharing blogs this week about Jennie’s Circle of Support and its role in her journey to independent living. You can read more about this here.

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