If you’ve been in this field long enough, your mind may wander back to the 1980s when folks first started using “people first” language. Since that time, we’ve seen several variations and ‘person centered’ or ‘person directed’ became more of a faddish buzzword than a driving force for enriching people’s lives.
But it is not just a buzz word anymore; in fact, in March of 2014, new federal requirements became effective, mandating all states to become more person centered. What does this mean exactly? Well, interestingly enough, it seems to mean something a tad different depending on the state you live in.
However, while there are some slight variances, the core concept remains the same: for people receiving services to have more positive control over the lives they’ve chosen.
You’ve probably heard the terminology ‘Person Directed Plan’, which is a great place to start. But it’s ONLY a start. And unfortunately, over the years, it morphed into more of an end result for some folks. As long as we are only aiming for better paper (plans), we’ll never reach our true destination of better lives.
As the Director of Training for D&S Community Services, I was excited to be chosen to become a credentialed person centered thinking trainer, hoping that we could help people we support work toward having better lives. As a parent of an adult child with disabilities, I continue to be beyond moved by the difference we continue to make in the lives of people receiving services. It gives me hope for my son…and the many other people that have a disability.
Keep an eye out for more blogs on person centered thinking and how each of us can make small changes resulting in a huge difference!
Director of Training & Development