Healthier, happier and in control – with a one-page profile

When Paul’s support team realised that he didn’t have a one-page profile they knew they needed to create one with him straight away. Paul owns his own home and is supported to live the life he chooses. His profile contains some very specific information about how to support him well, crucial to his ongoing health and wellbeing.

Paul's one-page profile

Paul’s one-page profile

Written by Tracey Gudgeon, Care UK

Paul is a gentleman who lives by the sea in North Wales. He owns his own home which he bought after his parents passed away. Paul is a fabulous artist and the other love of his life is his religion.

Previously Paul lived at home with his mum and dad and has been supported since buying his own home.

It was summer time and Paul was due to review his service again. He’s already had a Person-centred review so knew what it entailed and was looking forward to it. On the day of his review though, Paul decided it was far too nice a day to sit around  and he changed his mind about what he was going to do that day. He made up a picnic and went off on a long walk up the Orm, which is one of his favourite places and takes him past his old family home.

Paul told his team manager that he was happy for his team to spend time thinking from their perspective about what was working and not working and it was whilst doing this it was noticed that Paul did not have a one-page profile.

A one-page profile captures the important information about a person on one sheet of paper. It celebrates their gifts and talents as well as highlights what is important to them and how best to support them. It was considered essential that Paul should have one so his team set about working with him to create one at the earliest opportunity.

Paul’s one-page profile does have very detailed information around what is good support in relation to his cigarettes which play a big part in his daily routines. Paul’s world can revolve around when he is having his next cigarette and although he wants to cut down, he finds it hard to do so, just like so many other people.

The one-page profile supported Paul’s team to do their job better and have a clearer understanding of just exactly what was important in Paul’s life.

Having the one-page profile highlighted the need for better consistency with the staff rota , and helping Paul know just who was coming on to support him . This helped with Paul’s anxieties which in turn meant he didn’t feel the need to smoke as much.

The other benefits from completing a one-page profile has been that Paul has been able to feel healthier and lost some weight (which certainly helps when walking along the sea front or up the Orm). This has again been due to information highlighted around the need for good support with menu planning , budgets and shopping.

One-page profiles in transition – Supporting someone now and in the future

An example of how using a one-page profile in the transition from school to independent living empowers people to direct their future support and start to build strong relationships based on good understandings, with the new people in their life.

Calum's one-page profile

Calum’s one-page profile

Written by Sally, Calum’s mum

My son is a bit of a charmer! He is very affectionate, has a great sense of humour, is cheeky, and has a deep infectious laugh. Like most 20 year olds he knows what he likes and what he doesn’t like and although he doesn’t express himself verbally, he lets you know exactly what he wants.

He has some real loves and interests; his laminated hoover catalogue page, watching DVD’s, especially Happy Feet, going out for walks and to the local pub for a meal. He has a great fondness for jaffa cakes and extra strong mints. He also knows which people are likely to have a packet of mints in their pocket!

Calum’s one-page profile was developed as a precursor to developing his transition plan. We wanted the key people in his life to be clear about what was really important to him and what they needed to know at a quick glance about how to support him. We needed this because Calum would be moving into supported living once he left his specialist residential school. Maintaining continuity was crucial, but just as important was that others could use Calum’s one-page profile to get a sense of him as a person and start to bond with him in this way.

Together Calum, a team leader from residential, Calum’s key worker, the speech and language therapist and a friend of mine got together at his school ahead of developing Calum’s transition plan. Calum had laminated pictures of things that were important to him and other pictures of things he was interested in to help keep him engaged and to act as prompts to talk about what was important to him. Calum was central to the process and his presence made it dynamic and thought provoking. It is, as parent, uplifting to hear what others like and admire about your child and the affection felt towards him by those who know and work with him.

Creating Calum’s one-page profile was an especially important process for the staff at his school, as they were unfamiliar with person-centred thinking tools.  It became the first step in the school beginning to embrace this type of approach and they began to change their practice as a result.

Calum’s one-page profile, in essence, was the catalyst to collect more detailed information about him, covering everything from how he communicates to his evening routine. Calum’s receptive understanding is somewhat limited and he uses ‘Objects of Reference’ to communicate, so for Calum the profile provided those who have access to it, with a clear idea of how best to support him whether in the classroom or out and about.

The one-page profile also provided the means to think about trying new things or visiting new places and reinforced the belief in those working with him, that they were supporting him in the best way possible.

Creating a one-page profile was the first important phase in developing Calum’s person centred transition plan. It gave those working with Calum the opportunity to fully explore the things that it was felt were important to him and what needed to happen to support him now and in the future. I feel confident in the next phase in Calum’s life because of this process and I’m very proud of what he has achieved so far.

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.