Staff Profile – Karen, Acting Team Leader
I have worked in this Telford service for just over 2 years. The first six months with the previous provider and the rest with Creative Support. Working as a Support Worker, then Acting Senior Support Worker, then Senior Support Worker and now Acting Team Leader.
The move to Creative Support was exciting and welcomed by staff and service users. Almost immediately things began to happen and change for service users. Rights, choice and independence were the main focus. It was a confusing time for some service users because they had never experienced this level of control over their own lives; but as time went on the confusion turned into happiness and a sense of achievement for the service users.
Staff had to change their own working practices and with Creative Support’s training, began developing skills which helped us to work in a more person centred way.
Service users began developing their own skills, from domestic tasks to cooking skills. They had more control and a better understanding of their finances. They had new responsibilities of their own, such as understanding the security of their own belongings. For the first time they had their own front door key! These were all new experiences and each and every one was exciting for the service users.
Eighteen months on and looking back at the changes made in our service, they have been phenomenal. The service users are reaching their goals and aspirations, from going fishing to going on holiday, or even getting married. Their lives are filled with the things they like to do, which makes them very fulfilled.
From a support worker’s point of view, I have seen exciting and wonderful changes in the service users. I have seen a service user who hardly spoke more than ‘yes’ or ‘no’ make verbal choices of his own, putting full sentences together. This has come about by working with newly developed support plans and promoting service user choice and independence.
‘Sign Here’ training has been given to staff so we can offer positive non verbal communication to service users who communicate this way. The has changed the service users’ lives, as they can now communicate their choices and staff can relate to their needs and wishes and provide better support.
With Creative Support I have seen the positive effects to service users’ lives of working in a person centred way. The changes have been rewarding, not only for the service users but also for the staff. I am happy to come to work every day and enjoy being part of a company who values people’s lives and works together with people to make a difference.