A wake up call

An example of how a one-page profile has led to successful communication between Paul and his support worker Robin by drawing out the key information ‘what is important to you and how do you want to be supported?’

Paul's one-page profile

Paul’s one-page profile

Written by Support Worker, Robin

Paul is a young adult in his early 20’s who dreams of going to college and experiencing life on his own, all while getting an education. He currently lives with his parents but is looking for his own flat. We decided to create a one-page profile with Paul so that I, as his support worker, would not only know how to best support him, but in what areas he does want my support and what he wants that support to look like.

We sat down one afternoon with some friends and just talked about the various ways support could be provided. Paul then wrote his own profile.  It was shared with me and my direct supervisor. We used it to problem solve how we would ensure Paul received his support in the way he wanted.

It made a huge difference for me as his support worker in the sense that I now know very clearly what he wants from me. It had never previously dawned on me to ask ‘how’ he wanted communication between us to look until he mentioned it. The one-page profile sets out what is important to him, and he now knows how I can help him achieve that.

Our communication has become much more successful since I have been using the medium he has chosen – text message. It sounds simple (what 20 something year old man doesn’t prefer to keep in touch via text?) but before he noted it on his one-page profile it hadn’t occurred to me. Paul used to worry about appointments and whether or not he had the time and date correct. He used to leave me phone messages which wouldn’t always get passed on and this would lead to anxiety and missed appointments. Now he simply sends me a text message whenever he wants to confirm anything or needs reassurance and I can reply straight back to him.

Paul respects my boundaries of only texting during business hours, and I respect his desire to use that as our primary communication method. Instant answers work best for him, while still enabling him to see the answers to his questions in writing if he forgets what was said earlier. Over all our working relationship is better as a result. It was a big wake up call for me too. I communicate with most of my friends via text and it is the preferred medium for many so it makes sense that this would work for Paul too.

The one-page profile has absolutely achieved what we wanted it to! I am able to support Paul to the best of my ability with this information and we have been able to progress along much quicker than before.