Module 4: Building the team

 

Online therapy tip:

Each team will look different, and each team will work differently. The best team is the team that work best for the client.

Who’s on the team?

You might have a variety of people on your team. Each person will bring their own skills and attributes. Some examples of team members and their possible roles are listed below.

Person Possible roles
Client The client is at the head of the team. They are the focus of the goals and should be supported to come up with goals that are meaningful to them.
Parent, carer, or main advocate This person can help to advocate for the interests and skills of the client. They might help to work towards goals in context.
Clinician This might be an OT, speech therapist, or another clinician. They bring clinical skills in bridging the gap between the client’s current skills and their goals.
Teacher A teacher might bring expertise in the client’s strengths in learning. They can assist in integrating a client’s skills into everyday routines at school.
Support worker A support worker has the opportunity to work one on one with the client on specific goal attainment strategies. They are knowledgeable about the everyday life of their client. They can make excellent key workers.
Friend A friend might be a great motivator and advocate for the client. They might also help to practice new skills or goal attainment strategies in context.

Is it the right team make-up?

Consider these points below to see if your team is working well together. 

1. Are we talking to each other? Does everyone know their role? Do they have the time, motivation, and support to fulfil their role? Talking through your goal as a team, then assigning responsibilities and planning steps for completion will help you all stay on track.

2. Do we have a key worker (leader)? Teams without a clear leader can lose their direction. Make sure that you identify a key worker. This is often NOT a parent of therapist. A support worker is often well-placed to be a key worker because they know a lot about the everyday life of the client, so they can integrate advice from client and family, with suggestions from the therapist.

3. Too many cooks: Sometimes roles overlap, or people lose focus because there are many competing agendas. Make sure that you talk together regularly and refocus on your goal and your roles each time.

Online therapy example:

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Jenny lives in shared accommodation. When Jenny, her OT, and her mum meet via video, Jenny says she wants to learn how to cook. The team decides that it’s important to have a “champion” who sees Jenny regularly around mealtimes so they can practice preparing meals together and stay on track. Jenny’s mum has trouble getting to see Jenny every day and wants her to learn with new people. Jenny mentions that her support worker Mimi likes cooking, so Jenny and the team ask Mimi to be part of the team, come to fortnightly video links, and help Jenny practice cooking in between.