Person-Centered Planning

Person-Centered Planning is an ongoing process to help people plan for their future. The focus of planning is on the individual and their vision for the future. The process also engages others around the person who know them best. With the person and their identified support network, the facilitator meets to discuss opportunities for the development of new relationships or improving current relationships, obtaining a job, moving into the home of the person’s choice with the people he/she wants to live with (or not), increasing participation in the neighborhood and greater community, increasing the person’s autonomy and choice, and developing skills and abilities that will help the person get to where they want to go. Successful person centered planning requires a commitment from the person and their support network to follow through and take action. Person-Centered Planning is intended to capture a moment in time. As goals and/or needs change, the planning process should be revisited. This is true for all of us over the course of a lifetime. Revisiting the planning in the future may be a formal or informal process.


To start with what is important to the person- their skills, abilities, hopes and dreams, to enlist the support of others who care, and to identify a plan that will increase the opportunity for a person to turn their dreams into reality


  1. Introduce the subject of planning to a person who is either transitioning in some area of their life, interested in identifying or reaching their person goals, or who has had some challenges in the past identifying next steps on their path that will help them to be successful.

  2. When a person is interested, the facilitators will come out and introduce themselves, telling the person why they enjoy planning and discovering if they are the right people/ organization. If the person wants to continue searching for a facilitator, Bridges will offer other organizations and individuals who perform this service as an option.

  3. Once there is agreement to begin, facilitators will work with the person to identify the reasons why they are asking for planning. What is it that should be achieved through this process? The person will also identify others they want involved in this process.

  4. The team will develop a story with the person. Where do I want to go? Important information for the person’s past and present will help inform what has worked and not worked to develop plans for the future.

  5. The person and their support network will brainstorm and share ideas and visions for the future. Action steps and people responsible to help support will be identified, as will timelines.

  6. Information will be captured using a variety of planning tools and methods, focusing on what is individualized to the person and their goals. This happens over the course of several meetings.