Author: Charlotte Saunders, Behaviour Support Practitioner
Due Date: December 2019
Publish Date: December 2019
According to the Human Rights Commission, international law, and national law, we all have the right to make choices for ourselves and have control over our own lives. This includes (but is not limited to) making decisions we feel are best for us at the time, setting our own goals, planning for how to achieve those goals, and choosing the people we would like to have around us. This raises the question; What if someone is unable to make healthy, safe choices for themselves? How can they have choice and control over their own lives?
To all of us at Jeder, the answer to this question is clear. Person-centred planning is at the core of all that we do. We use person-centred planning in every interaction with every individual we support. Respect, integrity, compassion, understanding, and mutual trust are at the core of person-centred planning. We keep the person we are planning for at the centre of the process, we keep them present and engaged, and we support them to make informed decisions that keep them safe and well.
Person-centred planning is critical to providing effective support for many reasons, though two main reasons are at the forefront of the work we do with people with disabilities;
- Person-centred planning is central to providing inclusive capacity-building services, and;
- The person we are supporting and planning for is the expert on themselves.
We MUST use person-centred planning processes to ensure we are providing people with opportunities to share their strengths, express their wants, needs and goals, and how they would like to achieve their wants, needs and goals. In this way we can build a person’s capacity to make decisions, we give them choice and control in a safe environment, and we ensure they are heard, valued and empowered.
If we are not using person-centred planning, how can we honestly say we value the person in the same way we value others? How would we know that we have the person’s best interests in mind without the person being involved in decision making about their life? How could we profess to be inclusive if the person we are planning for is not included in their own planning processes?