Individualised planning is a key feature of the provision of disability services and supports for people of all ages.
Plans help people with disability identify:
- what is important in their lives
- what they hope for in their future
- the services and supports a person needs to assist them in their lives.
A range of individualised or person-centred plans are being used including: Person Centred Plans (PCPs), MAPs, Essential Lifestyle Planning, PATH and Family Service and Support Plans.
What is individualised planning?
The individualised planning process explores the needs, preferences and aspirations of people with disability and translates them into a plan for how these can be achieved.
A typical person-centred and individualised planning process:
- Places the person with disability at the centre. It focuses on the person and who they are, and prioritises the individual’s perspective on their life.
- Takes a whole of life focus.
- Has a future focus – capturing hopes and aspirations, including what is important to and for them both now and in the future.
- Involves the important people in the person’s life (family, friends, carers).
- Identifies actions and goals as well as the supports needed to achieve these.
A planning process will usually consider the following aspects of a person’s life:
- Who the person is,
- Their likes and dislikes,
- Their current activities, work, education, hobbies and interests,
- The important people in their life,
- Their strengths and support needs,
- Their health needs,
- What is currently working well and not well,
- Their hopes and dreams (goals),
- The enablers and barriers to achieving these goals.
Planning can occur at any time in a person’s life, but often occurs at key life transition points.
Planning is a lengthy process as it is based on getting to know the person well. Planning involves information gathering from a range of sources, including:
- the person with disability
- friends, carers, family members, health professionals, teachers and others
Planning is a continual process: plans should be regularly reviewed, and are ‘living’ documents that change in line with the person and their life.
Planning can be a useful tool for all people. People with intellectual disability may require additional support in order to participate fully in the planning process and maximise their control over it.