Person-Centered Planning

touch pad with stick figuresThe term person-centered refers to a process of planning that’s driven by the individual and is rooted in community. It’s focused on the person, not the service system. Although services may be part of the picture, they are not the driving force and vision.

The result of this kind of planning is an evolving, living portrait of the person’s strengths, skills, dreams and goals, as well as a road map to the future in work, school, home, relationships and community life.

Until recently, person-centered has referred to planning done with the individual and a group of helpful people chosen by the individual—informally or formally. With a new federal requirement now in place, our state is beginning to use a person-centered approach to service planning for individuals on a Home & Community Based Services waiver.

Although each term has a different purpose and design, they both focus on the person’s strength’s, skills, needs, relationships, and goals.


Person-Centered Planning (PCP)

What is it?

PLANNING that’s driven by the individual, with help from family, friends and professionals that the person chooses to include. Person-centered planning can be done informally in any setting (home, school, work) or with a paid facilitator who guides the process.

Non-facilitated planning can easily be done with emerging tools, such as the My Life Plan, a free online guide to planning by identifying skills, strengths, needs, supports and goals to help you at every age and stage of life.

There are many types of facilitated person-centered planning, but MAPS, PATH, Future’s Planning are a few of the most well known tools. Some DDA programs include facilitated person-centered planning as a service. Check with your DDA case manager to find out if it’s available to you.

Who is it for?



Person-Centered Service Planning (PCSP)

What is it?

An APPROACH to service planning that Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA) case managers use to engage clients during the person’s annual assessment.

It’s the result of new federal rule that encourages a shift away from planning that looks at people as part of a service system, and moves toward planning that looks at what a person wants and needs for herself and where services can support that vision. It is not the traditional facilitated process. It’s a way of viewing the role of services as a part of the larger whole.

Prior to the annual planning meeting, your case manager will send a one-page worksheet to help you think about your strengths, skills, needs and goals. Fill out as much as you can and take it with you to your meeting, along with any other planning work you’ve done.

Who is it for?

All DDA clients who receive services.

Printable Bulletin



Informing Families three part video series on person-centered planning.

Part One: Person Centered-Planning Tools Overview


Part Two: New Release of My Life Plan, Free Online Planning Tool


Part Three: Using the Star Form to Identify Supports for Reaching a Goal

DDA Video Series

We’ve received permission to share a video training series created for DDA Case Resource Managers. Each part will be released separately. Keep checking back for the next installment.

Part One: Includes an introduction by Assistant Secretary Evelyn Perez and video on Person Centered Planning by Beth Mount.

Part Two: An Overview of the Values of Person-Centered Planning

Part Three: Tools and Approaches to Person-Centered Planning


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