Person Centered Planning is a process used to help people with disabilities identify what they want their life to look like. The process is often used in Individual Education Plans (IEP), Individual Family Plans (IFP), and Individual Support Plans (ISP). What makes Person Centered Planning unique is that the individual receiving support drives the process and identifies their goals. Although a staff member may help break down a plan of support, it is the individual who clarifies their dreams for the future.

What does this looks like at the Arc?

At the St. Louis Arc the Person Centered Planning process begins with a Personal Outcome MeasureSM Interview, a method developed by The Council on Quality and Leadership (CQL). During these interviews we learn about an individual’s preferences and identify where we may be able to improve their supports. The information learned from the interview is taken into planning meetings, where the individual identifies their goals. Staff members work with the individual to define what this process looks like. The individual decides who is at the meeting, where the meeting is held, and what the agenda might look like. During the planning meeting those in attendance brainstorm how to achieve the identified goals. After the meeting, the plan is written based on the individual’s preferences. The plan is designed according to the individual, with the goal of making it accessible, this could be a scrapbook, a power point, video, vision board, or a document.

The meeting is an annual process, with the plan acting as a fluid document which can be adjusted based on the individuals wants and needs. Our Community Integration and Residential programs have the most holistic Person Centered Planning process, since these individuals spend the most time with the St. Louis Arc. Most Arc programs however do include a version of the process. The CONNECT, Leisure, and Employment programs have more narrowed goals, focusing on the goals of the specific program. The Children’s and Family programs may use Person Centered Planning in their Individual Education Plans or through family planning tools.

What are the benefits of Person Centered Planning?

Person Centered Planning allows individuals to create a path to having the life they want. The plan also provides a way to hold individuals and staff accountable to achieving goals and help avoid unwanted situations. Person Centered Planning gives an individual control over their own life, gives staff clear outlines, and can help identify who is involved in a person’s life.