Person-centred planning is a way of helping someone to plan their life and support, focusing on what's important to the person. Person-centred planning has five key features:
- the person is at the centre of the planning process
- family and friends are partners in planning
- the plan shows what is important to a person now and for the future and what support they need
- the plan helps the person to be part of a community of their choosing and helps the community to welcome them
- the plan puts into action what a person wants for their life and keeps on listening - the plan remains 'live'
In England, Scotland and Wales, policies and legislation since 2001 have led to the adoption of person-centred planning by all local authorities. In Northern Ireland, all and Social Care Trusts are expected to start moving towards this way of working by 2015.
Person-centred thinking is as important as the planning. It means that support staff hold person-centred values, and a belief that a person must have control in areas such as who supports them, what they do with their day, being listened to, and making decisions about their lives.
Support from professionals and family
All these styles of planning require a trained person, called a person-centred planning facilitator, to support the process. These are skilled people who involve everyone in the person's life in their 'relationship circle'. They also encourage and support the individual to take control of their own plan. They are very creative in their methods and have extensive knowledge of advocacy, working with families, finance, housing issues and how to develop better support for people.
Families can also support person-centred plans, often using tools such as Families Leading Planning. They make a commitment to the person to put plans into action.
Person-centred planning and people on the autism spectrum
Person-centred planning is based around the individual and is ideal for people on the autism spectrum. Planning tools may need to be adapted and terminology often needs to be changed so that it can be understood by the person. It is essential that the person’s preferred ways of communicating are taken into account so that they can play a full part in the planning process.
Personalisation, self-directed support and support plans
There is an increasing move towards personalisation and self-directed support in funded community and social care. In self-directed support, the person knows how much money they are entitled to for their support and they have choice and control over how it is spent. This money may be referred to as a personal budget.
Support plans for Personal Budgets
After the community care assessment process (including self-assessment), a person will be awarded an indicative budget and can then develop their support plan. This can be developed by anyone: the person, anyone in their circle of support, an advocate or a person-centred planning facilitator or broker.
The information in a person's support plan is taken from their person-centred plan but has a distinct difference - a person-centred plan is confidential to that person but a support plan has to be shared with the sponsoring authority and their funding panel. The support plan can be helpful if the person's indicative budget is not enough to cover their support costs.
The support plan should include:
- what is important to the person
- what the person wants to change
- how the person will arrange their support
- how the person will spend their personal budget
- how the person will manage their support
- how the person will stay in control and be involved in decision-making
- an action plan to explain what happens next.
More from our charity
Autism Services Directory
Community care for adults
Community care for young people
Community care for children
Our Community Care Service
Our training and consultancy
Person centred planning, Autism Education Trust.
Create My Support Plan
Families Leading Planning
Helen Sanderson Associates
National Brokerage Network
Think local act personal
Legislation, policies and guidance
Adult Autism Strategy: statutory guidance (England)
The Scottish Strategy for Autism
Care Act 2014 (England)
Equality Act 2010
Human Rights Act 1998
Transforming your care (2013) (Northern Ireland)
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Last updated: April 2014