Person-centered Planning has been described in many ways, including personal futures planning and building circles of support.
These strategies focus on a person’s ability rather than deficits. The approach uses what is learned in various areas of life about someone to build a vision of the future about how that person will live and work, along with his or her social relationships, hobbies and leisure activities, settings, and lifestyle.
To provide employment support for someone, we first need to ask about the life dreams and motivations that contribute to this individual’s personality. As the answers come together, they will direct the development of a plan so that a vision of life becomes a reality.
Planning meetings should include a balance of professionals and nonprofessionals acting as a team. Besides the individual, participants can include friends, family, guardians, teachers, service providers, coworkers, and professional consultants. The key elements are interest in, connection with, and respect for the person whose employment is being planned. Assist the person with writing and sending invitations to people who should attend to set a tone of person-centeredness from the start.
Teams are generally required to meet at least annually to update service plans and develop new ones. When people’s lives and needs change more frequently, the team should meet more often. Any member of the team may seek out the individual with a disability and his or her service coordinator to suggest a meeting of the full team or a partial grouping of the team.