Person-Centered Thinking (PCT) is a philosophy that supports positive control and self-direction of an Individual’s own life. Developed more than 20 years ago, it is practiced by Evergreen Service Providers, Community Centered Boards and other agencies that provide social services, including those that work with Individuals living with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. Person-Centered Thinking provides the foundation for Person-Centered Planning.
Person-Centered Thinking and Planning
A direct departure from previous approaches, Person-Centered Thinking focuses on individual preferences, talents, skills, possibilities, and opportunities rather than on identified deficits or disabilities. PCT is a holistic approach to meeting the needs of Individuals with disabilities that considers not only what is important for an Individual, but what is important to them.
The opposite of a one-size-fits-all plan that is driven by clinical conditions, the Person-Centered Plan is individualized for each person, with the objective to enable more personal choice and control and therefore optimize an Individual’s fulfillment and happiness in life. Input from the Individual, not just about them, is an important ingredient in the process.
The state of Colorado is strongly committed to providing person-centered services to people with IDD and identifies it as a priority. Several years ago, the General Assembly appropriated $500,000 for statewide Person-Centered Training (PCT) for the staffs of agencies that provide these services.
PCT focuses on changing the perspective of participants from merely caring for people to providing support in a way that balances the needs of the Individual with their desires, especially balancing their safety with their own independence and ability to participate in directing the services they receive. It aims to change thinking from the idea of “fixing” perceived issues the person may have, to recognizing their individual gifts, strengths, and opportunities to contribute and to live a personally satisfying life that is integrated with community. These training efforts align with federal requirements that Person-Centered Planning be implemented in Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services.
It’s not just the Individual that benefits. Some agencies find it is more likely that service plans will be used and acted upon when founded upon Person-Centered Thinking. Updating service plans occurs more naturally, requiring less time and effort, and some agencies’ costs for planning and implementation are less. This approach creates a shared vision that fosters more trust and respect and feelings of equality between IDD people and their service providers and therefore greater cooperation. Communities benefit as well through renewed awareness and acceptance of individuals who add to the diversity and richness of their culture.
Evergreen is Working to Become a Leader in Person-Centered Services
The system that provides services to Individuals living with disabilities includes government agencies, Community Centered Boards, agencies such as Evergreen Service Providers, and our invaluable Host Home Providers and Family Caregivers. This entire system is evolving so that the Individuals we support have input into how the system can understand and implement their choices about how they want to live.
Evergreen Service Providers is committed to being a part of this broader system change and a leader in providing person-centered services to Individuals. Our goal is to work closely with our Host Home Providers to ensure that Person-Centered Thinking is not simply a concept but a set of principles and practices that are implemented daily. Through frequent communication, training opportunities, and home monitoring visits, we have developed plans to work with our Host Home Providers and Family Caregivers to further develop their person-centered knowledge, skills, and abilities so that they can best support Individuals to live a self-directed and meaningful life.
A Person-Centered approach ensures that everyone has a voice in guiding community change and means that change is possible for both Individuals that are served and the systems that serve them. Contact us to learn more about how Evergreen Service Providers implements Person-Centered Thinking into our care of Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.