Putting YOU first

There has a been a lot of talk about ‘person centred’ approaches and ‘self-direction’ in the context of disability services, particularly with the advent of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), but what do these terms really mean and why are they important?

Anglicare Central Queensland believes in taking a person centred approach to everything that we do.

This means that the person with the disability is always at the centre of the decision making process relating to their life and circumstances. This involves listening, thinking together, coaching, sharing ideas, and seeking feedback. This process ensures that everyone we work with is supported towards their personal goals, that they are encouraged to exercise greater choice such as control over their services, how they are delivered and by whom.

The term “person-centred approach” is best explained by looking at what it means for both people living with a disability and what it means for the organisations providing services to them and their families.

Person-centred approaches give people with a disability:

  • valued roles
  • participation and belonging in the community
  • freely given relationships
  • greater authority over decisions about the way they live
  • genuine partnership between the service, themselves and/or their family and allies
  • individualised and personalised support arrangements.

Person-centred approaches require that organisations:

  •  have a committed leadership that actively instils the vision of a person- centred approach at all levels
  • have a culture that is open to continual learning about how to implement a person-centred approach
  • consciously hold positive beliefs about people with a disability and their potential
  • develop equal and ethical partnerships with people with a disability and their families
  • work with people to individually meet each person’s needs so that they can be in valued roles in valued settings
  • develop appropriate organisational structures and processes

Instead of the individual having to fit into existing programs and services, planning and support will begin with the person and their life goals and ambitions. Person centred approaches look beyond specialist services to draw on mainstream services and resources in the local community.

“In order to support the kinds of community changes necessary to improve people’s chances for a desirable future, virtually all existing human service policies and agencies will have to change the ways they regard people, the ways they relate to communities, the ways they spend money and the ways they define staff roles and responsibilities.”

For more information on what our person-centred approach means for you, contact us on 1300 769 814 or email ndis@anglicarecq.org.au.

Sanderson Person Centred Planning: Key features and approaches, Joseph Rowntree Foundation, UK, 2000.

Valuing People – A New Strategy for Learning Disability for the 21st Century – Guidance for Implementation Groups http://valuingpeople.gov.uk

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