A person-centered plan (PCP) can help those who are involved with the focused person see the person as a whole, recognize their desires and interests, and discover entirely new ways of thinking about the person’s future (Brost, 2002).
Person-centered planning is an ongoing problem-solving process used to help people with disabilities plan for their future. In person-centered planning, groups of people focus on an individual and that person’s vision for what they would like to do in the future.
The Person-Centered Team
This “person-centered” team meets to identify opportunities for the person concerned to develop personal relationships, participate in their community, increase control over their own life, and develop the skills and abilities needed to achieve these goals. Person-centered planning depends on the commitment of a team of individuals who care about the person in question. These individuals act to ensure that the strategies discussed at planning meetings are put into practice.
Pcp helps the person to build and articulate a vision of the future, to consider various paths, to participate in decision-making and problem solving, to monitor progress and to make the necessary adjustments in a timely manner. It emphasises individual responsibility, including the taking of appropriate risks (e.g. if support staff are required). Emergency planning is often part of the process.
The PCP Approach
The PCP approach identifies a person’s strengths, goals, medical needs, home and community service needs, and desired outcomes. It also identifies a person’s preferences in areas such as leisure, transport, friendships, therapies and treatments, housing, vocational training and employment, family relations and social activities. Unique factors such as culture and language are taken into account.
These elements are included in a written plan of support for the individual, which is developed on the basis of these considerations.
The process may include a representative freely chosen by the person, who may or may not be authorized to make personal or health decisions on their behalf. This process should also include family members, legal guardians, friends, caregivers, and others that the person or their representative may wish to include. The role of agency workers, such as option counselors, support agents, and social workers, in this process is to enable and help people identify and access the services they need and provide support during planning. You should involve people who receive services and supports to the greatest extent possible, even if the person has a legal representative.
Purpose of the PCP
Observe the person in a different way.
Help the person in question to acquire control of their own life.
Increase opportunities for community participation.
Recognize individual desires, interests and dreams.
Through a team effort, develop a plan to turn dreams into reality.
Who participates in the PCP?
The focused person and whoever wants to can participate. It is best to have a facilitator and a person who records what is shared. The facilitator must be a neutral and impartial person, who guides the group through the process, handles conflicts and ensures equal opportunities for all to participate. Other people who may be included are parents/guardians, other family members, friends, professionals and anyone else who has a personal interest in the person.
When should PCP be performed?
At any time in the person’s life. Person-centered planning can be a very useful tool for developing your transition plan.
Tools needed for person-centered planning
A flipchart or large sheets of paper to write down the shared information. Several markers of different colors.
The steps of person-centered planning
Develop a personal story or account of the life of the person in question. To do this, everyone must share the past events of the person’s life. The parents and family of the person in question can share most of this information. Aspects such as background, critical events, medical problems, important events, important relationships, etc. can be shared.
The quality of life of the person concerned is described below. This can be achieved by exploring the following: Community participation, community presence, choices/rights, respect and competence.
Personal preferences of the person concerned. Things that the person in question enjoys doing. Also included are things that are not desirable for the person.
The personal profile meeting usually takes place several days before the planning meeting so that participants have time to reflect on what is shared. This meeting, which lasts about two hours, can use graphic symbols instead of words to help stimulate creativity and encourage participation.
The next step… the planning meeting
Review of the personal profile. At this point, the group has the opportunity to make additional comments and observations.
Review environmental trends. Identify ongoing events that are likely to affect the life of the person concerned.
Share visions for the future. Through brainstorming, participants face the challenge of imagining ways to increase opportunities.
Identify obstacles and opportunities. Make the vision a reality.
Identify strategies. Action steps to put visions into practice.
Get going. Identify action steps that can be completed in a short time.
Identify the need for service delivery to better respond to individual needs.
What is needed for the PCP to be successful?
For a plan to be successful, it is best to:
People have a clear and shared appreciation of the talents and capabilities of the target person.
People have a common understanding of what the person in question wants.
The group involved agrees to meet regularly to review the activities.
That the group includes a strong advocate or family member who ensures that the interest of the focal person is being fulfilled.
That the group includes a person committed to connecting with the local community.
This is the beginning of a process that continues throughout life. It’s not a product.
People-centred planning is not so much a new planning technique as a new approach – or a new type of planning – that is based on a set of values and beliefs that are very demanding and different from the current norm. It is a planning that focuses primarily on the person, rather than on a disability, a service or any other issue.
In this regard, it is person-oriented as a whole, rather than focusing on disability management. It has to do with citizenship, inclusion in the family, community and the mainstream of life and self-determination and can therefore require some very fundamental changes in thought and established balances of power, the implications of which are potentially enormous and far-reaching.
What the PCP is not
It is important to understand that person-centered planning is not:
An assessment of either the services or the needs of service users (see the UK Department of Health document “Valuing People: a new strategy for learning disability for the 21st century”). As Ritchie et al. observe. (2003), person-centered planning takes the individual as its starting point, as opposed to service and how the individual might fit into the service system. It also goes beyond services, indicating a more general action by and for the individual.
Service planning or individual program planning for service users. Traditional Individual Program Planning (IPP) is characterized by a synchronized and standardized approach to addressing identified needs. Person-centred planning requires a flexible and responsive approach to meeting the individual’s individual needs and changing circumstances, guided by the principles of good practice rather than a standard procedure (Cole et al, 2000).
Person-Centered Planning, Service Planning, and Individual Programs
Person-centered planning, service planning, or planning and evaluation of individual programs can legitimately coexist and have mutual implications. For example:
The need to develop a person-centered plan or to update an existing person-centered plan can be identified as part of the needs assessment;
A person-centered plan can identify the need to develop or adjust an educational or individual care plan to better suit the person’s needs, desires, and preferences regarding support and/or their lifeview.
Person-centered planning, originated by Wolfsenberger, is rooted in the movements of normalization and independent living. It is based on a social model of disability and a strengths-based approach. Person-centered planning was developed because people with disabilities often have difficulty getting the kind of basic services, opportunities, and experiences that most people take for granted, and even when they do, they often find that they are required to fit in some way into someone else’s idea of what that service should look like. , that opportunity or that experience, and how they should act, think or feel in relation to them (Connolly, 2001).
What does the PCP want?
Person-centered planning aims to:
Develop a vision of a person’s life as part of their local community and/or the whole of life and
Describe the actions needed to move in that direction.
How are these results achieved?
This is achieved by:
Identify and respond effectively to the different aspirations, capacities and concerns of persons with disabilities;
Understand and address people’s fundamental problems: exploring where a person is now, how they would like their life to change, and what that change might mean;
Identify and explore the options available to the individual;
Mobilize and involve the entire social network of the person, as well as the resources of the system of official services, to respond to what is expressed and help to make the desired changes;
Take steps to monitor the plans on a regular basis with a view to reviewing them, reviewing progress in their implementation and updating them;
Discover a way to register, continuously
What else should I do about PCP?
What has been learned about what is important to an individual and what is important to them;
Also, what balance has been established between what is important to the person and what is important to them;
You should think what others are expected to know about what is important to the person and to them and/or what others are expected to do to help the person achieve what is important to them and to them;
What must remain the same and what must change, and who will do what (and when) to act accordingly;
What, in fact, remains the same and what changes after the development of a person-centered plan, and whether this makes a real difference in the person’s life in both cases.
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Brost, M, Johnson, TZ and Deprey, RK (2002) Getting to know you: one approach to service planning and assessment for people with learning difficulties, Madison, WI: Wisconsin Coalition for Advocacy.
Cole M, Mc.Intosh, B and Whittaker A (2000) ‘We want our voices heard’ – developing new lifestyles with disabled people, Community care into practice series, UK: Joseph Rowntree Foundation.
Connolly, C (2001) Person centred planning and the identification of educational needs for adults with learning disabilities, Thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Developmental Disabilities, Centre for the Study of Developmental Disabilities, Faculty of Interdisciplinary and Postgraduate Studies, University College, Dublin.
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