When you are new to a team: One-page profiles at work

An example of how this apprentice used her one-page profile to help her get the most out of her placement, communicating what support she needed and helping her team get to know her well and quickly.

Mollie's one-page profile

Mollie’s one-page profile

Written by May Lee

Mollie is an apprentice working with a team supporting people with profound and multiple learning disabilities. She had no experience of working with people with learning disabilities prior to beginning her work as an apprentice. Upon starting she immediately showed signs of enthusiasm and a willingness to learn as well as great communication skills. Mollie also attends college one day a week.

Mollie was supported to develop a one-page profile in order to develop her relationships with the new team she was coming into and help us understand what her learning and development needs were so that she could get the most out of her placement with us.

I explained the concept to Mollie who completed a first draft and we went through it together to develop it further. This was then shared with the rest of the support team working alongside Mollie so that everyone could understand how best to support her and make sure we all worked together.

Having the one-page profile has enabled Mollie to do more of what’s important to her. She went on an Intensive Interaction course which meant she was able to develop her relationships further with the people we support. She was then able to feedback not only to the team she was working with but also to other people at the forum. As a result of this she has attended several services team meetings to talk about Intensive Interaction.

The process of developing the profile helped us to understand Mollie better, but also gave Mollie the opportunity to reflect on what she wanted and allowed her to say what she wanted others to do in order to make the most out of her placement. One of the things Mollie said was to give her regular feedback on how she’s doing so that she can keep learning – we make sure we do this at least once a month so we keep it on the agenda.

It has been great watching Mollie grow and develop and I am confident that her one-page profile has empowered her during her apprenticeship with us.

Using profiles in early years

Written by Guest Blogger, Nathan Archer, Development Manager at Montessori Nursery, Read Nathan’s one-page profile.

 

Nathan Archer

Nathan Archer

Lincolnshire Montessori offers nursery and Primary education from two sites in Lincolnshire. We have children from six months through to 11 years old on roll and a team of sixty professionals on site.

We first discovered one-page profiles via a weekly early years sector Tweet Up #EYtalking on Tuesdays 8.00pm GMT.

The weekly theme was on Learning Journeys, which for those who are unfamiliar, are an approach to formative assessment in the early years, which is largely qualitative and respectful. Essentially, observations of individual or groups of children are written and often comprise photographic evidence, children’s artwork or a record of their ‘voice’ in a range of ways. Parents/carers, family members and other professionals are also encouraged to contribute. Many early years settings collect these stories in booklet, file or scrap book format to form the child’s learning journey through the Early Years Foundation Stage.

During this discussion, a colleague pointed us to Helen Sanderson Associates website and the youtube video on one-page profiles.

Cue Light bulb moment!

What struck us was the way in which such personal information would enable us to really know a child and their family, developing a much deeper understanding of a child’s personality, disposition, routines and welfare needs in an holistic way.

One of the four main themes of the Early Years Foundation Stage  is ‘A Unique Child’ and we felt that one-page profiles were a very tangible way of reflecting our understanding of the needs of individual children.

We purchased a postcard from the Helen Sanderson website which gave an example of a profile for a little girl called Flo. This proved a helpful basis for developing our own profiles. We took the headings from the card as the basis;

What do we love about….

What is important to…..

How to look after….

Our Head of Early Years Jo Robinson completed a sample one-page profile based on her youngest son which served as a prompt for both parents and professionals about the kind of information which might be shared to inform the child’s care.

We have coupled this one-page profile with a starting point sheet (an OfSTED requirement) which enables the team to capture a child’s starting points in terms of their development in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). On the reverse of the profile, Practitioners make brief notes under the seven areas of learning and the Characteristics of Effective Learning; Active Learning, Playing and exploring and Creativity and Critical thinking.

By combining these two elements we have created a real snapshot of a child who joins us, both in terms of their uniqueness and how best to meet their needs, with a summary of their learning and development as a base for future progress.

Feedback from parents/carers has been very positive and we feel that children are even better cared for with their individual needs more closely met.

There has also been real enthusiasm from the team for the new one-page profiles, who rather than seeing it as yet another form, feel they are capturing helpful information to really personalise the care and education we offer.

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.