Person-Centered Planning (PCP) is a great way to go about developing the vision for your child. PCP is all about keeping the person with the disability at the center of any decisions made about their life. Your child’s choices, what they like and dislike are key to this process. It’s about creating dreams as a first step and having the team honor those hopes and dreams. The PCP process celebrates your child’s strengths, gifts, and talents that can help them reach that end in mind.
PCP results in an action plan that can break large goals and dreams down into small parts. For example, a dream might be “I want to work with animals as a job” and an action step might be, “I will call my local animal shelter by the end of this week to find out if I can volunteer there.” The plan should list what the action is, who is supposed to complete it, and when it should be completed.
You can involve anyone you or your child want in PCP. You may want to include people who may have different thoughts and ideas than you do. For example, you may think your child will never be able to live on their own, but your neighbor may be able to talk about all of the independent skills they have seen. They may know another child with similar skills to yours that is living in an apartment with supports. A vocational rehabilitation (VR) counselor or guidance counselor may know things about your child’s work skills and employment dreams that others may not know. The more ideas and thoughts the better!
It’s usually good to have someone participate in the process who is neutral (does not have an opinion). They can lead the team through the process, take notes, usually on a flip chart, and make sure everyone, especially your child, has the chance to participate and speak up. It’s important to have an open mind during the visioning process. Remember, during brainstorming, there are no bad ideas. The first step is to write down background information about the child and then to have the actual PCP meeting which usually includes the following steps.