A snapshot of me

An example of how this one-page profile has helped Mark direct his own support. Ensuring that the people in his life are introduced to, and therefore connect with, his positive traits as well as understanding how best to work with him to do the things that he states as important.

Mark's one-page profile

Mark’s one-page profile

Mark is an intelligent 62 year old man who prefers to initiate conversation or physical contact with you. He will approach you if he wants to hug or talk to you. But he can become agitated if he’s not in the mood to interact. Mark sometimes uses Makaton (speech, signs and graphic symbols) to communicate but he’ll understand if you ask questions and use short sentences.

His one-page profile was developed to share basic snapshot information needed to support him in the best way possible because he has some behavioural patterns that can be avoided if the correct measures are followed. Whether at home or out and about, he prefers to be served food and drink before others and likes to have things done as quickly as possible. We provide support staff with more detail in his behavioural support plan.

Mark is not in contact with his family, so all decisions are made through his support workers, advocate and his Social Worker. This is also how we created his one-page profile.

All support staff, agency staff and relief staff have read the document. It is kept with Mark’s support plan and also on his bedroom door. The profile is updated every three months. It shares the things that people like and admire about Mark, such as his generosity, helpfulness, his sense of humour and the fact that he blames the cat for everything. As well as capturing the information people need to know to support him well, it also presents these positive attributes so that people can connect with Mark on a personal level.

All staff members are fully aware of Mark’s support needs after reading his full support plan. But Mark’s one-page profile has enabled support staff to really focus on what is important to him and the copy on his bedroom door constantly reminds them of this. For both Mark and his support workers this is a great help because it informs them of his weekly activities alongside his daily planner. It is extremely important to know how and when to initiate contact with Mark as this can determine Mark’s reaction and cooperation.

Overall the one-page profile has proven itself to be a great tool in providing as much information as possible about Mark in a very short but detailed document. It is very useful for relief/agency staff members who only have a limited amount of time to find out as much information as possible about Mark and to support him in the right way.

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Planning for the future

A powerful example of how this young woman’s one-page profile has empowered her and her family in her transition from school, to volunteering, to hiring her own personal assistant and accessing her personal budget.

Melissa's one-page profile

Melissa’s one-page profile

Written by Debra and Ronnie

Melissa is our gorgeous, bubbly, engaging 21 year old daughter, who has a learning disability.  Melissa lives at home with us, her Mum and Dad. She sees Grandma often, spending time with her going shopping at least once a week.  Melissa has support from a personal assistant through her personal budget and lives the life she chooses, has a voluntary job and spends quality time with her friends and family.

Melissa attended a special school and we were invited to a meeting in her last year by Cath (the local Person Centred Practice coordinator) and Liz (a family expert in person-centred approaches).  The meeting was about hopes and fears for the future; we had hopes for Melissa’s future but these were often outweighed by our fears of what the future held…we had never heard of person-centred approaches or what support was available or how to ask for it.  After the meeting we felt more hopeful and had support from Cath to get the ball rolling for Melissa’s future.  We wanted to capture information about Melissa to share with others, match her with someone who could support her well and use to support her getting a personal budget.

Melissa already knew Cath from her time spent in school and it felt comfortable having chats at home all together to think about the things that were important to Melissa and what good support looked like.  Our starting point was developing a one-page profile together.

Being able to capture what we know as parents to share with others was really important.  We hadn’t used any other support for Melissa apart from family, so the one-page profile gave us confidence that people would have the right information to support her well.  The first time we used it (and the first time we had any involvement with social services) was meeting with the social worker for Melissa’s personal budget.  The one-page profile helped us enormously because we had captured the information in advance and we didn’t forget things when answering questions. This made the meeting a positive experience, the social worker was impressed with the profile.  We also used it to think about the type of person we wanted to support Melissa and the information they would need to know to support her well.

Beginning with Melissa’s one-page profile started the ball rolling to think about other person-centred thinking tools we could use; we used a communication chart to give more detail about the support Melissa needs around her epilepsy and migraines, and the matching tool to think about the type of person that could support Melissa well.  We update it to reflect the changes in Melissa’s life, for example when she finished at college and was thinking about what she wants to do next.  Melissa now has a volunteer job which she loves, has made new friends and kept in touch with old ones, takes the lead for arranging get togethers with her friends over coffee before going bowling and is taking control over her own life with confidence.

Melissa’s profile helps us all to think about what is important to her to have quality in her life and the support she needs to achieve this. It’s great to be able to capture this on one piece of paper.

 

 

Decisions are Jennie led, not service, organisation or support worker led!

An example of how one-page profiles can change perceptions and attitudes as well as supporting a person with autism and learning disabilities to make positive changes, growing and adapting with them through life.

Jennie's one-page profile

Jennie’s one-page profile

Written by Suzie Franklin

My daughter Jennie is twenty-two years old.  She has a great sense of humour, is affectionate, creative, honest, determined and fun to be with. She has a lovely home, close family and friends and enjoys art classes, horse riding and trampolining.  Jennie used to be described as ‘challenging’ until she started using one-page profiles and positively changed her life and the way people perceive her.

Jennie has autism and learning disabilities and has worked hard to achieve her independent lifestyle. The one-page profiles she has used over the years have helped her to do this by communicating what is important to her and how people can support her to do what makes her happy and healthy. She is a very impressive young woman.

Jennie’s first one-page profile was used as a ‘top tips’ for everyone in her life to get to know her better, provide consistency in support and communicate with Jennie in the way that was best for her. At the time, Jennie wasn’t able to dictate much verbally but her voice ran throughout and we produced the one-page profile using our in-depth knowledge of what was important to her and how best to support her by closely watching her behaviour and what it was telling us.  It was shared with the rest of her family and everyone who supported her as well as teachers, social workers, doctors, coaches, instructors and even her hairdresser! People who saw it commented on how useful it was and some even helped add to it by saying what they liked and admired about Jennie.

One of the things we realised when we started using person-centred thinking tools with Jennie was that despite having a fun seeking personality she had few friends of her own. Most people outside of her family were paid to be in her life. Having a one-page profile and identifying what was important to her has empowered Jennie to try new activities and develop new friendships. It has put her in the driving seat to make more choices in her life. Jennie even used her one-page profile to show to prospective support staff when she was picking her team for her new flat. It gave them an easy to understand picture about Jennie and meant that she was able to communicate very early on how best they could support her.

As Jennie’s independence has grown living in her own home, the one-page profiles have changed with her. What is important to Jennie and how she needs supporting has changed significantly but this has all been led by Jennie and the people around her keeping her profiles accurate, up to date and always reflecting Jennie’s voice.

Having one-page profiles has enabled Jennie to truly be in control of her own life. Decisions are Jennie led, not service, organisation or support worker led! Importantly, they have also changed the way Jennie is introduced and perceived. Jennie is no longer referred to as ‘challenging’. Now she is described as happy, active and independent. Thanks to Jennie’s one-page profile her positive reputation precedes her and the things that are important to Jennie are kept at the centre of everything that she does.

Suzie Franklin and Helen Sanderson have written a book about Jennie’s  journey, her transition to independent living and her Circle of Support. You can find out more about the book from HSA Press.