Greater Independence

An example of how this man’s one-page profile has helped him gain confidence and achieve greater independence.

Earl's one-page profile

Earl’s one-page profile

Written by Cat Eglington

Forty-one year old Earl uses our services at The Manor in Brampton, Cambridgeshire. Earl has Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus. Spina Bifida occurs when the bones and nerves of the spine do not fully develop while the unborn child is in the womb. Hydrocephalus is also known as water on the brain.Earl’s one-page profile was developed to share information about himself with anyone who comes into contact with him at The Manor. He has two profiles on the wall in his bedroom, in pride of place for all to see. One is his original colour profile and another is a copy that Earl has coloured in and drawn on himself. Both are on the wall alongside all his pictures and posters.

Earl really enjoyed developing his profile and had lots of ideas that he wanted to share. As he is such a big motor sport fan he wanted a racing car on his profile alongside a picture of his favourite drivers, Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button. Earl’s profile was developed over a relaxing afternoon spent talking about the things that are important to him, his hopes for the future and how it is best to support him. Earl also asked friends what they liked best about him.

Within everyday life Earl’s one-page profile has been used to inform new staff and volunteers how best to support him and to understand more about Earl as a person; his likes and dislikes. The profile acts as a voice for Earl, communicating how he likes to be best supported and for staff at The Manor to understand how to fully support Earl on a day-to-day basis. His more detailed person-centred plan is available for anyone to read who would like to know more information about Earl or as a guide that can be referred to at any time.

Earl has become more confident as a person and more goal-orientated since creating his one-page profile and he clearly feels more connected to people in both a social and professional way as they can understand him better. Earl now has a girlfriend at The Manor.

Earls one-page profile sets  out the important information that people need to know to support him well such as; he likes to dress himself; he likes to get up early; he likes to be around people and he likes to read the paper. It also states what is important to him so that support staff know the food, people and activities paramount in his life.

Earl likes to be as independent as possible and he is happy that his one-page profile has helped him to do this. His support team recently helped Earl to order new equipment such as a banana board, a sling and a handling belt. All these items are to help Earl to maintain his independence.

The outcome of a one-page profile for Earl has been better choice and control. He feels empowered by the information he shares and believes that the team around him now understand him better and can help him live more independently as a result.


It’s the ‘little things’ that make a difference

Ellen's one-page profile

Ellen’s one-page profile


An example of how creating a one-page profile has empowered Ellen to speak out about the ‘little things’ and make positive changes in her life.

Written by Cat Eglington

Ellen is 66 years old and from the North East of England. She has a condition called hydrocephalus which means she has physical disabilities and a learning disability. She lived with her mum for many years, who supported her with all aspects of her life. Her mum cared for her greatly until she sadly died in 2000. At this point Ellen moved into a supported living service to continue to get the help she needed.

Ellen’s health needs had always been a key focus of the support she received but support staff where she lived were keen to use person-centred thinking and felt that developing a one-page profile with Ellen might capture her own unique ways and wishes. They felt Ellen had grown up being such a kind person that she would often agree politely with other people’s ideas and not express her own wishes. They wanted a way to get to discover and record exactly what was important to Ellen – not just what support she needed with her health.

One of the staff  who supported Ellen (Anne) sat and chatted with her for a couple of hours over a cup of tea. She developed a draft one-page profile in this time. Other staff who know Ellen added in details and information that they knew to be important to her. Her brother and sister in-law checked that they felt the profile captured who Ellen was from their perspective.

Ellen’s one-page profile is referred to every day. It is kept in the very front of her support plan. If agency staff ever need to support Ellen they are asked to read her one-page profile to get a succinct overview of what matters to her and to help them understand how to provide good support. Ellen had a person-centred review recently and the one-page profile informed exactly how the review was planned and delivered.

Ellen’s one-page profile highlighted several things that really mattered to her. She loves the soaps (apart from Eastenders) and in her review it was discussed that she would love to go to see the site of the soaps such as Coronation street and Emmerdale. As a result she has been supported to book a holiday , with a carer and a hire car so that she can go and visit all the TV locations that she loves , including Heartbeat country. The volunteer coordinator has connections in TV and is hopeful of pulling a few strings for a couple of visitors passes. Ellen has in the past been offered holidays and been happy to go, but this time the holiday was planned to completely reflect what is important to her.

Ellen has a package of support that focuses on her health needs but staff now better recognise the things that make a difference. They always pop into her flat around the time of the evening Soaps to make sure she has the right channels on her TV. She sometimes finds it hard to see the buttons on the remote .When supporting Ellen over a cup of tea, staff know to make sure Ellen’s cup is topped up with hot water half way through so she never has to drink a cold brew- which she hates!

Another difference to Ellen is that she attends a nearby day centre and said she particularly enjoys the bingo there. As a result of appreciating this staff are now beginning to support Ellen to attend a regular coffee morning in the village she lives in and to attend the local bingo gala nights.

The process of creating a one-page profile gave Ellen the opportunity to put forward more of her own views when in other circumstances she might not. This has helped her make some plans and changes. It has also meant that attention is given to the “little things” that make Ellen feel happy and valued, whilst still appreciating her increasing health needs. Staff who know her feel it helps keep the balance in her life and focuses on improving the quality of support in the way that matters to her.

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.

Getting the right support for you

An example of how Karen, who lives in her own home and receives 10 hours of support a week, uses her one-page profile to direct her support. Karen experiences periods of feeling low and having what is important to her and how best to support her as well as what people like and admire about her on a single sheet of paper helps to lift her mood and keep her on track at work and at college.

Karen's one-page profile

Karen’s one-page profile

Written by Tracey Gudgeon, Care UK

People describe Karen as a hardworking employee, great friend and someone who will always make time to sit and chat. Karen has her own home, which she is very proud of and loves the fact that she lives only two doors away from her best friend who she spends a lot of time with.

Karen receives 10 hours support each week to help her maintain her tenancy and to support her emotional wellbeing and health via support with menu planning and cooking.

This time last year when Karen’s service was being reviewed, the people working closely with her reported that her self esteem was very low. This meant that Karen was not going out and meeting her friends, keeping on top of her housework and not eating properly. It was also starting to have an effect on her job and college as she was struggling with timekeeping, was tired and finding it hard to concentrate.

The review highlighted that what wasn’t working was that when Karen was receiving the 10 hours support in the week she was asking staff to play jigsaws or just sit and chat. The team were not clear on their roles and responsibilities and Karen did not understand the purpose of her support and the outcomes which were expected, and what the support was funded for.

Karen and her team got together and created a one-page profile, highlighting Karen’s important to’s and important for’s. Karen really enjoyed doing this and was also happy to go further by creating a “Feeling Good” document with photos of how she looked and felt when she was looking great and had her hair done , nails painted , pretty clothes on. Karen also wanted photographs of her house in it when it was tidy. She asked if her staff would use it when she was beginning to get low as a gentle reminder of how much better she felt when things were going well.

Karen’s one-page profile has been paramount in informing the support she receives and therefore ensuring she not only keeps her job, continues to be a great student but also maintains her tenancy. Karen’s staff team now know what is important to her and how best to support her well and use the one-page profile to help Karen keep on track and keep achieving her goals.

First create your own, then support others to create theirs

An example of how by creating their own one-page profiles professionals can feel confident and empowered to support others in the process.

Written by Rebecca*

Rebecca's one-page profile

Rebecca’s one-page profile

I’m employed by a provider of learning, support and care for children and adults with learning disabilities. I manage two services and we encourage all members of staff and the people we support to have a one-page profile.

It is a really good way for families to know who is supporting them, and for them to get to know the kind of people employed. In the services I manage, there are often staffing changes due to the type of support provided and sometimes the support is brand new, having come from another provider. My one-page profile breaks the ice with a new family or member of staff, giving them information about me, so they see a person, not just a name or job title. This makes it much easier to communicate.

I completed my one-page profile myself, but found it difficult to think of the ‘what people like and admire about me’ section so I talked to friends, colleagues and family to ask them about what they thought. I completed it over a period of time, thinking about it in my work and personal life, to really reflect on what is important to me and the support that works well for me, which made it more comprehensive.

I use my one page-profile with my staff team and with people who I support so they can get to know me well. It was also used as an example to the people we support as the kind of thing that staff should be aiming for when helping them produce their own. Staff found it helpful to write a one-page profile for themselves before doing it with the children and young people they visit.

Producing my one-page profile helped me to think about the things in my life that are important to me and therefore helped me to think about what was important to the people I support.  Perhaps before, I might not have thought about it in that level of detail. For example, because my family are important to me, it made me realise that it was vital to include children’s families when supporting them to complete their support planning process. It was helpful for me also to see that the things in my personal life that were important to me impacted on the way I like people to work with me and support me. As a result of developing my own one-page profile I am more confident; family and friends have been proactive in helping me to think positively about myself, I feel reassured in my way of working and feel uplifted as a result. It’s increased my respect for myself and given me greater confidence in working with others.

Having a one-page profile has been really helpful, particularly in building those crucial initial relationships with the families we support. It has helped them to get to know me as a person, with specific interests and has opened up conversations helping them to feel more confident about the company. It has achieved much for the service, especially in helping other staff to complete them for themselves, and for the children and young people they support. One-page profiles are developing more throughout the service, with staff members and people we support, people are enjoying creating them and using them to get to know people better.

*names have been changed.

5 top tips to use one-page profiles in schools

Tabitha SmithWritten by guest blogger Tabitha Smith, then SENCO and Deputy Head at Norris Bank Primary School, Stockport

I’ve worked in education for over 20 years and 18 of these have been in Stockport. It was whilst teaching at Norris Bank Primary school in 2008 that I was first introduced to one-page profiles. Helen Sanderson is the mother of one of our old pupils and she came into school to talk to us about Laura’s progress. She introduced us to a single sheet of paper which communicated perfectly what people liked and admired about Laura, what was important to her and how best we could support her. This was the beginning of something huge; our personalisation journey.

We immediately saw the value of the one-page profile as a means to improve communication, learn about the individual requirements of each child, celebrate their gifts and talents and therefore teach and support them well.

At first we introduced the profiles to years two and six. We wanted to use them to help pupils in the transition from infant to juniors and from primary up to secondary. We had decided early on that this was not a tool to be used just with the children that had been identified as having ‘special educational needs’ as our belief is that all children have special or individual requirements and that each of them would benefit from using a one-page profile.

The children were incredibly excited about and receptive to creating their profiles. It wasn’t the first time we had asked them to tell us what they needed to work well but it was the first time we had introduced such a positive way of capturing this information, of embedding this culture deep into the roots of our school. We soon realised that we needed to give every child the opportunity to create their own profile and so we made this commitment.

I won’t lie and tell you that it was easy. It wasn’t. We have 340 pupils at Norris Bank and the coordination of communication between pupils, parents and teachers as well as the administration that was required, was enough to cause even the most committed of professionals a few sleepless nights! But we did it. In 2009 we achieved our aim or arming each child with their own one-page profile and setting a system in place that means that each year they re-work their profiles in time for their move to the next class.

We now know what each child needs to be supported well. This could be something as simple as how they like to be encouraged, what type of classroom environment they thrive in or whether there is any equipment the child needs to aid their communication or learning. Our parents are able to share with us the things that they love and admire about their child and we can celebrate this together – bridging the gap between home and school life. We have a point of reference for every parent’s evening and a detailed introduction to new teachers of each and every pupil. And crucially, our pupils feel valued and empowered to tell us what is important to and for them.

This year I accepted a Headship at a new school and I will be taking my learning of one-page profiles and the power of personalisation in education with me but I wanted to share with you five top tips to successfully introduce profiles in your school. I said before that it wasn’t easy – but as we have been through the process, we have learnt what works and what doesn’t work and now have a system that is absolutely achievable for schools – and believe me, the results are well worth the effort!

Using one-page profiles in a school setting:

  1. Understand their worth: It is important that the people making it happen (the teachers, pupils, parents and admin staff) understand how a one-page profile can benefit a child in school, how it can aid their learning, improve communication, highlight the need for new measures of support and celebrate their gifts and talents. We did this through training sessions, but also having resources like this blog site is a great way to share the ‘power of the one-page profile’!
  2. Give yourself time:  It takes time to achieve a task of this scale and giving yourself an unrealistic time frame will only de-motivate you. Think first about the practicalities of training people about one-page profiles, producing them, involving parents, capturing and storing the information then base your time scale on this.
  3. Keep it simple: We learnt early on that trying to type up each and every one-page profile and store them electronically wasn’t for us! We now send post cards out to parents at the end of each school year and they add the section about what they like and admire about their child. The children then return the cards to the class room and work through the sections ‘what is important to them and how best to support and encourage them in school’. Pupils personalise their postcard profiles with colours and drawings which further capture their personalities. The cards are then kept in a plastic flip wallet by the teacher and can be taken out and looked at or added to at any time.
  4. Involve parents: The benefits of a child having a one-page profile far transcends school and involving parents in the process early by getting them to add to the profiles is a good way of introducing them to the tool. We had an army of volunteers helping us when we first rolled out the project and although now we have streamlined it, we don’t need this administrative support, we still involve parents and are able to capture their rich insight into their child.
  5. Walk the walk: Capturing information isn’t enough. It is how you use it that will make your introduction of one-page profiles in school a success. We adapt our teaching style to our pupils based in what they have told us. We make decisions about their support based on what we know about them. We share this information with parents and with their new secondary school because we believe it is of vital importance. We see each or our pupils as individuals and whilst they may all be taught the same curriculum, we do it in the way that best suits them.

What a difference; empowered, settled and happy in school

An example of how using a one-page profile from an early age has helped Lucy express what she needs and positively influence the support she receives.  Lucy’s one-page profile has followed her through school from the age of eight and at age thirteen, it’s hard to imagine how things would have turned out without it.

Lucy's one-page profile

Lucy’s one-page profile

Written by Gill Goodwin of HSA

Lucy was placed for adoption aged two after moving to foster care just before her first birthday due to extreme neglect. Now thirteen, Lucy has settled well however the legacy of her difficult start means she can become very anxious, has some difficulties with learning and some sensory problems. Lucy has a statement of educational need and receives full time support in her local mainstream school.

Since being eight years old Lucy has had a one-page profile. At the time she was experiencing symptoms of anxiety and we had hoped that a profile would enable her to be happier and more relaxed in school and optimise her relationships and learning.I visited Lucy and her Mum at home and we talked about what made a good day for Lucy and the kind of things Lucy felt would make a difference for her. I then spent some time with her class teacher and teaching assistant in school. Putting together the profile with Lucy’s mum meant that we were able to double check that it fully reflected Lucy from her perspective and covered all the important information that people needed to know to support her well.

Almost immediately after introducing Lucy’s first one-page profile her level of anxiety reduced and in turn some of her repetitive behaviours such as adjusting her clothes and pulling up her socks. It also had a positive effect on her skills such as reading aloud and her motivation to try activities in school.

Each year we update her profile in preparation for the school year ahead. Now that Lucy is in secondary school her Special Needs Coordinator goes through the one-page profile with her Teachers and Teaching Assistants at a meeting before the year starts. She ensures all staff have a copy and that the TAs in particular know the best ways to support Lucy and enable her to have good days.  Little things like teachers smiling at her specifically when she enters the room make her feel more relaxed.  Lucy’s one-page profile means that staff are aware of the things that can make Lucy upset and ensure that situations do not escalate and that she is supported to stay calm.

As she has matured Lucy has been able to identify the kind of support she knows will help her and is confident to tell her learning coach and SENCo. For example at her annual review she was able to say why she found the support from one TA less helpful and could explain that she needed her to give information one step at a time and not give the next instruction while she was writing or thinking. Having the one-page profile, and it so clearly belonging to her, has meant Lucy seems to understand that it is her responsibility to let people know how to support her in the best way. She also knows the way to phrase things and is therefore becoming empowered to influence positively the support she is given.

School staff  in her new school have quickly got to know Lucy and what makes her tick and these close supportive relationships have been pivotal in her successful inclusion into a large mainstream comprehensive school.

Lucy has had a one-page profile for so long now that it is difficult to know how things would have been without one! Lucy is happy, settled and has all the opportunities at school and at home open to her, which is what she and her family had wished for.

One-page profiles for support and recovery

A practical example of how this team approached creating a one-page profile for Charlie following his second stroke.

Charlie's one-page profile

Charlie’s one-page profile

Charlie is a warm, friendly and kind guy. He is a family man, who is very determined to regain as much of his independence as possible after having his second stroke seven months ago. He has a ready smile, enjoys a joke and has a good sense of humour. He is a mechanic by profession.

Charlie has had two strokes as a result of having Lupus and has been attending Action for Independence for the last six months to regain his confidence, skills and mobility, after being referred by the Physical Disability Team. The team at Action for Independence wanted to make sure that they were focusing their support on the issues that mattered most to Charlie and so decided to produce a one-page profile with him.

Action for Independence is looking at how we can use Person Centred Thinking to help focus on what matters to people. This will help us as a team, to identify what support we can offer to help a person maintain, change, or move towards a lifestyle that now makes sense to them.  We wanted Charlie’s one-page profile to help us to have a conversation about the next steps to support his recovery.

To get started on this, one of the team members went back through the original referral that was made to the service and pulled out any information that told us about what is important to Charlie and what others need to know or do to best support him. She also wrote down a list of questions to be figured out from what she was reading. After this she took some coloured highlighter pens and went through the pages of on-going diary notes that had been recorded by the whole team about his progress and involvement in the service over the past months.  Coloured highlighters were used to illuminate anything she noticed about ‘what we like and admire’ about Charlie and what was ’important to him’.

The team member explained to Charlie what she was doing and why she wanted to take this approach to learn about him and support him well.  She did this over a cup of tea and she shared her own one-page profile with him so he could see how it worked. They talked for about 20 minutes, initially focusing the conversation on what made a good day and what made a bad day for Charlie both at the centre and at home.  They then looked at the appreciations section of the one-page profile and talked about what others liked and admired about Charlie.

At the end-of-day handover meeting for the team, the team member posted up flip chart sheets on the wall with the headings pre-written on them – ‘ Like and admire’, ‘Important to’, ‘How best to support’ and ‘Questions to answer’. She invited the team to grab a marker pen and for the next 10 minutes to write up all of the new things they had discovered about Charlie. She then shared what she had learnt from the notes and her conversation with him.  There was a strong level of agreement.

The team took note of the questions to answer and decided on which ones they could start to work on immediately.  Charlie’s one-page profile was written up using all this rich information to clearly communicate the essential information that everyone needed to know on one single sheet of paper.

After several weeks Charlie decided to reduce his days of attendance at Action for Independence to once weekly. He has been very successful in achieving his goals more independently and is ready to take his next steps. The team have been able to support him in this based on their rich insight into what is important to him and what good support looks like.

Dementia support using a one-page profile

An example of how a person living with dementia has used a one-page profile to communicate with support staff about how best to support him. Sidney was feeling embarrassed and sometimes threatened by the support he received. This story shows how his team captured and shared important information about Sidney to ensure he was supported in a way that made sense to him.

Sidney's one-page profile

Sidney’s one-page profile

Written by Support Worker Team Leader

Sidney, also known as Slim, is a very gentle man with a lovely voice. Originally from Jamaica, music has always been central to his life as long as it is upbeat. Now 83 years of age Sidney lives in Nuneaton in a residential service supporting people living with dementia

Sidney’s one-page profile was developed as he was becoming more distressed when being supported by staff with his personal care. Staff realised Sidney was distressed by the level of care he now needed due to decline in his cognitive responses.  Staff discussed with me and we used effective ideas to assist him so it was less stressful for him.

Sidney had become reluctant to get out of bed during the winter months. This is when he may become agitated and he may threaten staff. As we have cared for Sidney for many years, staff have experience, and understand his needs. We have used person-centred care and put into place a personalised care plan for Sidney, which caters for his needs and his likes, like having a radio in his room, have his clean clothes ready laid out ready for him to put on after his care.Staff who knew Sidney well had learned that everything must be warm when assisting him with his personal care. This included the room, your hands, towels, water, floor and creams. This made Sidney’s experience during personal care less distressing and it was this type of information that needed to be captured on a one-page profile so that others were able to support Sidney in the way that he liked.

I am a Team Leader where Sidney lives. I sat down with Gill from Helen Sanderson Associates, Sidney and three of the specialist support workers Peter, Lauren and Jackie, to produce the profile.

Since its production, all staff are using Sidney’s one-page profile to ensure they know and act on what matters to him on a daily basis. It means that Sidney is supported in a way that truly makes sense to him and so is happier accepting the support. It is the rich information on Sidney’s profile which ensures this. Because of his profile all team members now know that Sidney feels embarrassed when supported in the bathroom. They also know that playing music helps him to feel relaxed and that by preparing everything before entering the bathroom, the experience can be much quicker and Sidney feels happier as a result.

Previously if Sidney became upset a support worker might call for more staff to assist – having two or three people trying to assist him only made Sidney more distressed as it increased his fear.  Today, everyone knows this and knows how to ensure Sidney is supported well.

Since having his own one-page profile Sidney is much more likely to take help from staff and even thanks them for the support they offer him. He is much happier and is singing more than ever!

Finding ways to have positive conversations

An example of how this woman’s one-page profile has helped open up good conversations with her respite team so that they can support her well whilst away from her home.

Dorothy's one-page profile

Dorothy’s one-page profile

Written by Gill Bailey

Seventy-seven year old Dorothy comes to stay at the respite centre twice a year while her daughter has a break from her role as a full time carer. Dorothy has some very specific health needs and has asthma, heart problems, a hearing impairment and schizophrenia.

At just eighteen Dorothy got engaged to her husband who she sadly lost at a very young age and never remarried. Instead she concentrated on bringing up her children. She worked all her life from the age of fifteen up to her retirement. While the children were in school Dorothy worked jobs around school time, as they got older Dorothy worked longer hours as an machinist. Life was hard at times.

Whilst at respite we wanted to get to know Dorothy well, find out more about her so we could support her in the things she liked to do. Dorothy would often sit quietly alone and we hoped that by creating a one-page profile with her it might open up some positive conversations.

It did! Dorothy was very chatty about the holidays she enjoyed with her husband and children, Italy Payton and Margate. She also talked about her love of reading, she particularly likes the friendship book that is out at Christmas, she says it gives a lot of information about things that have happened over the years.  Dorothy also loves doing puzzles especially word searches. Of her time with us, she said that she enjoys her stays but is always happy to go home to her family. We created a one-page profile that communicated all the rich information we now knew about what was important to Dorothy and how best we could support her.

Dorothy is a very independent lady who likes her privacy and takes pride in her appearance, always immaculately dressed and turned out. Supporting her to look and feel her best is crucial to her wellbeing and so this is reflected on her one-page profile.

All staff are now much clearer about what works and what doesn’t work for Dorothy and her time with us is much more enjoyable for her as a result.