Person Centered Planning

WHAT IS “PERSON-CENTERED PLANNING”?

Person-centered planning (PCP) is a process which is designed to help people craft meaningful, typical lifestyles. The process was developed to describe and work toward:

HOW IS IT DIFFERENT FROM OTHER PLANNING?

Person-centered planning is different from most other planning methods in that it does not limit possibilities to options that are already present. Instead of choosing the best of the supports that are currently available, PCP describes what is desirable and then works toward creating that lifestyle.

Unlike other traditional planning efforts that meet for an annual planning session, person-centered planning relies on a team that meets regularly to plan together over time. The team meets on a regular basis for as long as it takes to bring the desirable vision into reality. The team is comprised of the people who know and care most about the focus person. This often includes the focus person, parents, siblings, neighbors, friends, colleagues, pastors, current and previous professionals and providers.

UNDER WHAT CIRCUMSTANCES IS PERSON-CENTERED PLANNING HELPFUL?

Person-centered planning is most helpful when people are ready for a change. It may be that it is time for an adult to leave the security of their parent’s home or the person is feeling isolated and wants to have a more fulfilling life. It is also necessary that there are people willing to help the focus person move in that direction.

WHAT IS THE ROLE OF THE FACILITATOR?

A facilitator is the person who is responsible for organizing the planning process. A facilitator gathers relevant information, builds and nurtures a team of committed people, provides a framework for decision-making, advocates on behalf of the desires of the focus person, and encourages action. The facilitator also documents the activities of the team. Often, a facilitator will use colored markers and large sheets of paper to graphically display the team’s work during meetings.

WHAT DOES THE PROCESS INVOLVE?

The first step of the process involves developing a “profile.” The facilitator meets with the “focus person” whose life is the focus of planning and their family members. Additionally, the facilitator may meet with or speak with others who know the person well. A profile is developed that looks at the following “maps” or areas of the person’s life: Relationships, Places, Background/History, Skills/Gifts and Contributions, What Works/Doesn’t Work, Preferences, and the Dream/Desirable Lifestyle. Additional maps, such as Communication, Respect, and Daily Routine may be included if it adds value to the process (see attached example).

The next step is to convene the first planning meeting. It is ideal to meet in a community setting like the person’s home, church, or library and to serve light refreshments. At this meeting, the profile is reviewed and enhanced by the input of others. Next, the facilitator guides the team through a process of identifying obstacles and opportunities and exploring networks and resources designed to address the dream. The meeting ends with a list of action steps that members of the team commit to doing. This meeting can take up to two and a half hours.

The team will continue to come back together on a regular basis. New members may be invited into the group for their particular expertise or connections. Ongoing meetings last one to one and a half hours.

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This website has been made possible by the financial support of the Kentucky Office of Vocational Rehabilitation through the KY Supported Employment Training Project at the Human Development Institute at the University of Kentucky.