Person Centered Planning (PCP)265 is a process designed to assist someone in making plans for their future. It is used most often as a life planning model to enable individuals with disabilities or otherwise requiring support to increase their personal self-determination and improve their own independence.
Person-centered planning was created in response to some specific problems with the way in which society responds to people with disabilities. Those who first described the processes were responding to the effects that 'services' can have on people's lives. In this context 'services' is a general term used to refer to the organizations that are set up to help people in relation to their disability (or at least in relation to how other people have responded to that disability). It would include health and social care services funded by government or local authorities, but also privately funded or voluntary sector projects of many kinds.
A central idea behind person-centered planning, is that services which are set up to respond to problems of social exclusion, disempowerment, and devaluation, can unintentionally make the situation of individual people worse (i.e. further disempower, devalue and exclude people). Person-centered planning is designed specifically to 'empower' people, to directly support their social inclusion, and to directly challenge their devaluation.
Person-centered planning recognizes that traditional models of planning for service provision have operated around the individual receiving the service, with professionals (such as doctors, psychiatrists, nurses, support workers, care managers, OTs and social workers) making decisions regarding the types of support received. Traditional models have also focused on the person's deficits and negative behaviors, labeling the person and creating a disempowering mindset from the start.
PCP offers an alternative to such models, striving to place the individual at the center of decision-making, treating family members as partners. The process focuses on discovering the person's gifts, skills and capacities, and on listening to what is really important to the person. It is based on the values of human rights, independence, choice and social inclusion, and is designed to enable people to direct their own services and supports, in a personalized way rather than attempting to fit within pre-existing service systems.