What is Person-Centered Planning?

Person-centered planning consists of service options that are based on the choices, strength, and needs of someone who has a developmental disability - rather than a set choice of options for services.

Person-centered planning lets you find out the life goals of a person and what kinds of supports they will need to get there. Part of the plan is asking the person, their family, friends and people who work with them about their likes and dislikes, and what they can do well. Another part of the plan is to learn what barriers get in the way of achieving their goals.

Through preparing we can help someone develop a picture of what the future will look like for him or her; build a circle of people who will help support that picture or plan; and take some first steps to help make it happen.

Parents are their own child's best expert.

If a person is unable to speak for themselves, it is important that facilitators of the plan spend time with them and ask others who know them well.

We are in the process of planning for our loved one by putting together an Individualized Service Plan (ISP) which help address his requests today, along with future planning, and based upon his own lifestyle choices, needs and supports. The ISP is updated every six months.

Begin facilitating a plan by considering, or if appropriate, ask your child and others questions related to both now and the future, such as:

  • Where do you wish or need to live;

  • How do you like to spend your free time each day;

  • Who do you like to spend time with;

  • What are your strengths and needs;

  • What are your fears or concerns; and

  • What are your hopes and dreams for the future?

Use the answers to form his ISP plan. This can be done both with or without a service coordinator.

For more practical information on person-centered planning click here. Families can download the free manual, Increasing Person-Centered Thinking: Improving the Quality of Person-Centered Planning to help you facilitate a good, quality plan for your child.

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