Person-centered planning is a planning process that focuses on an individual’s vision for their future. Individuals with disabilities choose the services that fit their personal needs and goals.
This planning happens in partnership with service providers. Although the focus is on the individual, this type of planning relies on a team to ensure successful outcomes.
According to the Administration for Community Living, person-centered planning “helps the person construct and articulate a vision for the future, consider various paths, engage in decision-making and problem solving, monitor progress, and make needed adjustments.”
Person-centered planning, or PCP, is personalized to the individual. It recognizes individual goals, dreams, and interests. This approach accounts for a person’s preferences in hobbies, housing, employment, and social activities. In doing so, individuals with disabilities have greater autonomy and choice in their care.
This model also enables greater participation in the community. Many PCP plans include community-integrated activities, such as supported employment, volunteering, and community events.
It is crucial that the individual being served leads the planning process, to the extent that they can. PCP also includes service providers, family members, direct support professionals, care givers, friends, and other important community members.
There are a few core principles of the PCP process. These include:
To plan successfully, start with gathering background information on the individual. Ask about the person’s personal life story, history, and background. This could include questions around their cultural and family background. Work to understand the person’s current quality of life and their goals. Also, what are their personal preferences? Learn about the individual’s likes and dislikes in activities, housing, work, social events, and lifestyle habits.
With the individual, brainstorm goals and visions for their future. Identify current obstacles to those goals and look for opportunities. Discuss strategies and action steps to tackle challenges and move towards those objectives. Document the individual’s service plan, alongside objectives and outcome measures to track progress towards their goals. Flexible I/DD software will allow you to include the service plan, notes, and outcomes in the individual’s record.
Once the plan is in place and documented, providers work with the individual to bring their plan to life. Whether it’s securing a community-based employment position or learning a new life skill, providers assist the individual in taking steps towards their goals.
To successfully implement a person-centered service plan, it’s important to establish regular follow-up meetings. In these meetings, the PCP team will review challenges and barriers that have come up since the last meeting. They can also modify the service plan if needed. Providers document progress towards the individual’s goals in their service plan. Lastly, it’s important to celebrate successes along the way.
While PCP is often found in the disabilities space, examples of person-centered care can be found in services across behavioral health, nursing home, healthcare, and housing organizations.
Technology can help make the planning, implementation, and reporting process more successful. There are a few key tools to look out for in your electronic documentation software.
Person-centered planning requires more tracking, coordination, and communication across providers and programs than ever before.
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