Providers use a person-centered planning approach to listen, discover and understand each person as an individual.  It is a process directed by the person to help providers learn how they want to live, and describes what supports are needed to help them move toward a life they consider meaningful and productive.   

The planning process empowers the person by building on their specific abilities and skills, building a quality lifestyle that supports them to find ways to contribute to your community. 

Other factors which impact the person's life, such as health and wellness, are also considered during the planning process.  Person-centered planning is the foundation upon which the person's Life Plan is developed. 


Focus on Outcomes

Person-centered planning is a discovery process used to search out what is truly important to and about a person and what capacities and skills that person possesses. It is values based with the knowledge that each and every individual has unique capacities and skills. It focuses on a positive vision for the future of the person based on his or her strengths, preferences, and capacities for acquiring new skills, abilities, and personality. It focuses on what a person can do versus what a person cannot do. 

There is not a set way to engage a person-centered approach to planning. People are free to express their interests, ideas, and preferences with an expectation that they will be supported and respected by family, friends, and others. The planning process should vary as necessary to adhere to the culture, style, purpose, and vision of the individual. The person-centered process helps to identify desired personal outcomes based on the individual’s life goals, interests, strengths, abilities, desires, and preferences. The process then helps to determine the supports and services that the person needs to achieve these outcomes and, accordingly, develops a plan that directs the provision of these supports by staff, family members or friends or others in the community. 

Outcomes are not goals; they determine whether the person's goals are achieved or not. OPWDD has embraced the Council on Quality and Leadership (CQL) Personal Outcome Measures (POMs), which define 21 areas that are most important to people who receive supports and services. The person-centered planning process should address the challenges, risk factors, and rewards inherent for each person to live his/her life the way that he/she chooses.

To evaluate the plan, providers could ask the person:

  • Did the supports result in activities that are meaningful to you?
  • Did the supports help you develop or maintain relationships that are important to you?
  • Are you experiencing a sense of safety and stability?

Quality review needs to be ongoing and plans of support need to be adjusted to ensure that the outcomes  are achieved. Developing a plan of support is only the first step -- questioning, monitoring and revising the plan based on the outcomes the person has realized must be an active process.

Kendra's Story

Watch to learn about Kendra's person-centered planning story.