I first wrote this blog in 2014 as a solicitor at Simpson Millar solicitors having just written my own blog and asked that it be shared with my profile on the firm's website. This led to a twitter exchange with Helen Sanderson, then CEO of Helen Sanderson Associates (HSA). This exchange, and a subsequent chat over a cup of coffee, proved to be a key milestone in my career as it confirmed my feeling that it was time for me to leave my legal career and explore other ways of making change happen.
One Page Profiles and why we should all have one (Written in 2014 as a Senior Solicitor at Simpson Millar specialising in public law.)
A one-page profile provides a record of what is important to someone, how best to support them and what people appreciate about them.
The benefits of one-page profiles have become more widely recognised over the last year as an increasing number of people and organisations have embedded the idea into their lives, work and their culture. An increasing number of our clients have heard of a 'one-page profile' however few have developed their own or fully understand their value.
We think everyone can benefit from having a one-page profile and here's why:
Person Centred Planning
One-page profiles are most commonly used for individuals who are recognised to have significant needs (whether they be education, health, social care or mental health needs); they are a very useful (if not essential) tool for person centred planning and can provide the basis for an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHC plan) or an Individual Care/Support Plan.
The new SEN Code of Practice advocates one-page profiles as part of person centred planning, and they are increasingly advocated across health and social care. The Social Care Institute of Excellence also promotes them in a resource called "Getting to know you".
We can all benefit from developing our own one-page profiles and from sharing them with family, friends, colleagues and any professionals working with us. They provide a simple, person centred way of capturing key information about ourselves on a single page. At Simpson Millar LLP we like to practise what we preach, so as well as advocating that our client’s develop effective one-page profiles, we have started to draft our own.
The process of drafting a one-page profile can be both fun and informative. It can also be quite liberating and empowering. For anyone with significant needs or disability, support planning can all to often focus on what the individual can’t do and what other’s perceive to be their key support needs. Developing a one-page profile provides a helpful focus for discussions which prioritises what is important to that individual and how they feel best supported. It also ensures that people don’t forget to talk about the individual’s strengths and qualities which are equally as important.
Individuals who are not recognised to have significant needs or a disability are rarely encouraged to openly share their personal support needs with colleagues, clients or sometimes even with family and friends. Ultimately we can all benefit from support in aspects of our lives and getting these support needs met can enable us to lead happier, healthier, more active and productive lives. It also enables us to better support those around us. Inviting others to share what they most admire about you is also hard to do. Drafting a one-page profile provides a good reason and leaves you and others with a written reminder of your strengths.
Whoever you are, whether you are a young person, a parent, carer, employer or professional, you can benefit from creating your own one-page profile.
For Any Setting
One-page profiles are most commonly used in education, health and social care settings but they can be a powerful tool in any setting schools
One-page profiles provide a simple and effective way for everyone in the school to share important information about themselves. Some schools have now adopted one-page profiles for all pupils, teachers and staff. They can also be usefully adopted by governors, parents/carers and the PTA (Parents and Teachers Association).
Within a school, adopting one-page profiles can provide a great basis for developing an inclusive culture where everyone has a shared understanding of each others’ strengths and needs and knows how best to support each other. They provide a portrait of a person which can be viewed 'at a glance'; this can be particularly useful when someone new joins the school, for example a new or temporary staff member, or a visiting professional, who wants to quickly familiarise themselves with a child or class.
A pupil's one-page profile should be built in collaboration between the child, their family and friends and teaching staff ; this provides parents an opportunity to share their learning and expertise on what good support means for their child, and what is important to them.
A one-page profile should not be left to stagnate; the plan should evolve to reflect the individual's development throughout their time in any particular school and it should then go with them as they move on. One-page profiles can provide a topic for discussions in Personal and Social Education (PSE) sessions and across other areas of the curriculum. They can also provide a focus for on-going discussions between the child, parent and teaching staff over the child’s time at the school, for example at parent’s evenings. For staff, one-page profiles can be used as part of staff development and performance management. Staff and parents can be encouraged to share their own one-page profiles with each other to help develop trust and better working relationships.
A good one-page profile can be particularly helpful during transition to a new class, a new teacher and to a new school. For pupils with significant needs they help inform Individual Education Plans (sometimes know as Personal Learning Plans) and reviews of pupil statements or EHC plans. With the removal of School Action and School Action Plus under the Children & Families Act, it is really essential that those children and young people, who will now come under the “school-based category”, have the right support in place. Having a one-page profile and using person-centred planning tools will really help this to happen.
Stockport is the first local authority to commit to every child, whether in primary, secondary or special school having a one-page profile; there are now 22 schools in the borough that are leading the way.
Hospitals, Residential Homes And Home Care
One-page profiles help patients and health or social care staff get to know and support each other. For example, if nurses understand what matters to their patients they can provide better care. Equally, if patients can view one-page profiles of their nurses they are more likely to build open and trusting relationships with them.
Where there are a number of different carers (both formal and informal) supporting a patient, one-page profiles can help them to get to know each other and to work better as a team. They also enable managers to better support their staff and enable colleagues to support each other.
For any patient, in any setting, a one-page profile can provide the key to unlocking a personalised care plan and approach; it is the first key step to good person-centred planning.
Other organisations, including private businesses, public sector bodies and community groups use them for their staff as tools for team building; staff development; recruitment; and for introducing the team to potential customers/service users.
Your One-Page Profile
For a one-page profile to be meaningful it has to be sufficiently detailed; your one-page profile should be very personal to you. This may leave you feeling uncomfortable about sharing it. When drafting a profile for yourself, or helping someone else draft theirs, you need to think carefully about its purpose and who it is intended to be shared with.
For more information on how to write your own one-page profile or help someone write theirs, then this site is really useful and has some templates for you to use, plus lots of examples. If you prefer information visually, then take a look at this YouTube video.
Care UK and the National Autistic Society both provide further information on their websites about person-centred planning.
How Can We Help You
A one-page profile is not a legally binding document. However it can be usefully used to inform and develop other legally binding documents such as an Education, Health and Care Plan or an Individual Support Plan and it is a key tool in any person-centred planning.
When To Contact Us:
If you are concerned that professionals (whether they be from education, health or social care) have not adopted a person-centred approach when planning your care, or care for a member of your family
If you are unsure about the legality of a Statement, Learning Difficulty Assessment (s139 Report) or an Education, Health and Care plan (EHC plan)
If you believe that you, or someone you care for, are not getting sufficient support to meet your/their needs