As it pertains to support services, here’s how it’s written in the act:
1. The executive director shall develop an individual plan for every vulnerable person who receives support under this Part.
2. The executive director may review an individual plan and vary it, or determine that the person for whom support services were provided is no longer a vulnerable person.
3. The executive director shall take reasonable steps to ensure that the vulnerable person and his or her substitute decision maker or committee if any, have an opportunity to participate in the development of, and are informed of any decision respecting, the individual plan.
And now in everyday language:
1. An individual plan is a person centered plan developed for every person under the Act.
2. People change — this plan can be reviewed at times to be sure it is up to date.
3. Everyone important in your son/ daughter’s life — family, friends, service providers — will be part of the planning.
Person-centered planning is a creative and hopeful process. It is not just another way of doing a service plan, but represents a different way of thinking and is very results oriented.
A meeting is held that focuses on your son or daughter. Participants who attend are invited because they have a special relationship with your son/daughter and usually include: parents, siblings, extended family members, friends, and others who are part of your son/daughter’s life. Staff members may also be asked to participate. An objective person is asked to facilitate the session to ensure that the dreams and wishes of your son/daughter and contri-butions from all participants are heard and documented. A person centered plan is an excellent way to help build a team or support network around your son/daughter and to provide the team with some direction.
There are several person centered planning tools. (You may have heard the word PATH or MAP.) The process is the same regardless of which tool is used.
PATH is a creative planning tool which starts in the future and works backwards to an outcome of first (beginning) steps that are possible and positive. It is excellent for team building. It has been used to mediate conflicts. It is loved by people who actually want to change the ways we currently work. Groups teaching PATH as a tool will hopefully have a copy for each student. PATH is not for the faint of heart. It is very results oriented.
How to Evaluate the Plan
You know it’s person-centered planning if:
- listening and learning continues
- family members and friends are full partners
- your son or daughter is at the center of the process
- hopeful action happens
- the focus is on developing capacities