Home » Partner Blogs » Barb Swartz- Biscaro works with HSA Canada and Community Living Parry Sound in Ontario and shares her professional and personal experiences of using One Page Profiles

 
 

Barb Swartz- Biscaro works with HSA Canada and Community Living Parry Sound in Ontario and shares her professional and personal experiences of using One Page Profiles

 

I have been working in the field of Social Services in Ontario, Canada since 1997. My work in the developmental service field began in 2004 with Community Living Parry Sound. I continue to work for this agency as a Person Centered Planning Facilitator.

Through professional and personal experience I have grown a tremendous passion around personalisation and person centered approaches in all areas of life. I began offering One Page Profile workshops on my own time in my children’s elementary school because I saw great value in them and wanted to inspire educators and students to use them. That began a few years ago and has only grown in interest province and sector wide. My work has been recognized and supported by both HSA Canada and Community Living Parry Sound leading to opportunities to help over 500 students develop profiles last year. I am also an accredited trainer in Person Centered Thinking through The Learning Community from Person Centered Practices.

I continue to offer One Page Profile workshops in elementary schools and have incorporated a vision for high school in Grade 8 students using the Coaching Young People for Success program.  Julie and I had the pleasure to train 65 educational staff this winter in one Ontario School Board and we look forward to offering the same training in other boards.

Last year my daughter was in Grade 8. I had already worked on One Page Profiles in her school with my son’s class and offered my daughter’s teacher the opportunity to build them with her class. He loved the idea and decided to focus on building the profiles to inform teachers and other supports at the high school level. We went ahead with a 3 hour scrapbooking workshop where the students worked together to identify information for the 3 sections of the profile and had lots of fun personalizing their pages. As they worked at this I realized that there was much chatter about what high school might be like and what they wanted to do there. There was excitement and anxiety flowing.

This inspired me to put together a “visioning” workshop where we would use person centered thinking tools to think about what high school would be like and what the students wanted to achieve academically and recreationally. I returned to the school for an afternoon armed with my “tickle trunk” full of craft supplies and inspiring quotes as well as large boards covered in fabric for each student to create a vision board. We worked through a Hopes and Fears exercise and set some actions around those, and other exercises to help them build inspiring boards to show families at graduation. Once I saw the final product I realized that a small box added to the One Page Profile titled “My Vision” would make a world of difference in helping students to stay on track and inform high school staff about their goals. The result was my daughter’s High School profile.

During her Grade 9 year we ensured that all teachers, guidance counsellors and principals received a copy of the profile. We received many great comments about the profile and more importantly the used it to help her grow in some areas of support needs as well as keep a focus on her future educational goals. She had a very successful year which has left me wondering how it may have been different had we not shared this profile. Her Grade 9 profile is now under revision for Grade 10.