The Importance of Person-Centered Planning

By March 19, 2019 Featured

Person-Centered Planning is an ongoing problem-solving process used to help people with disabilities plan for their future. The concept of Person Centered Planning has been a cornerstone of the way in which our team at I-TRAIN writes and distributes Direct Support Professional training.

In recent years, the Federal Government has made it a mission to point out specifics on this topic. At I-TRAIN, we encourage staff to take the foundational information shared in our content and to adapt it to fit the way in which they provide services.

Person-Centered Planning is a Process

In person-centered planning, groups of people focus on an individual and that person’s vision of what they would like to do in the future. Every aspect of the service delivery provided to the individual should be formed around their specific goals, dreams, desires and much more.

This does not stop at reading their plans and merely carrying out the services as directed. More than that, it means knowing the individual first and finding ways in everyday life to assist them in accomplishing their goals, dreams, and desires.

To vs. For

Any person supporting individuals on the Medicaid Waiver Program knows the importance of tailoring service delivery models to each individual. This means respecting and upholding Person-Centered Thinking. Every person should first sort out what is important for that individual vs. what is important to that individual. Every person faces this concept through daily life.

An example:

For me, it is important TO me that I be a strong, professional business woman. In order for this TO be accomplished, it is important FOR me to continuously educate myself in my field and know self-worth in my career.

In order for Direct Support Professionals to assist the individuals they are working with in attaining goals, they need to understand what has to be accomplished FOR the individual so they can accomplish goals important TO the individual.

The BIG Picture

Person-Centered Planning is a notion which should have been pointed out long ago in this field. It is no different than any other day to day situation you find yourself in. As a spouse, a parent, a friend, a co-worker, a son/daughter, and in any relationship you find yourself a part of, you allow the other person in that relationship to act for themselves.

This is no different when assisting someone with an intellectual or developmental disability.

Those who have the honor and pleasure to work in this field should not take it as a “job” to decide what that person is going to wear, what they are going to eat, or where they are going to go. The simple notion to allow that person to dream, wish, and think independently is what really matters.

Final Thoughts

Anyone who works in the Medicaid Waiver field must adopt Person-Centered Planning as a way of thinking. Whether it be a Case Manager, Service Coordinator, CEO or someone who trains direct support professional staff directly we all play a part in the bigger picture.

We are not simply pieces of a puzzle. We cannot not dictate how others carry out their lives. We must support the individuals we serve by giving them opportunities to learn and grow as they navigate what they want their lives to look like.

Person-Centered Planning inspires and brings value to those we provide services to. I-TRAIN is your solution to training Direct Support Professionals. Join our email list today for more information!


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