Author: 
Marlene Butteriss, Queensland Council of Social Service
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Most people plan life in some way or other. Whether we use paper planners for day to day organisation, plan each month by the moon cycles, or develop a detailed five year plan about meeting goals, people generally have some way of keeping track of what goals they are planning and what steps they have to take to get there.

Why is a planned approach important?

For a person with a disability, it can be essential that good planning is undertaken so that everyone in the person’s life is aligned with them about what they want to achieve in their life and how they want to achieve it. If a person is self-directing their supports then good planning is not only essential to their well-being and success, it is also a requirement to ensure that the person is able to use their funding to build the life they want to live.

For service providers, planning is essential to ensure that service delivery is in line with the needs, goals and desires of the people that use the service. Planning can occur to ensure people’s funding is spent as per the funder’s requirements and the person’s desires, however, for real change to occur, planning needs to address every aspect of a person’s life.

The benefits of a planned approach

It is important that services see planning as part of their organisational structure and not just as an add-on. Where an organisation values an intentional culture toward planning as a whole, the benefits to the people they serve, their families and the community will be evident.

Service providers that do planning well and impact real change in the lives of people they support and their families and communities:

  • Are committed to know each person and seek to understand them.
  • Have a conscious resolve to be of genuine service.
  • Are open to be guided by each person they support and the people that know them well.
  • Demonstrate a willingness to struggle.
  • Display flexibility, creativity and openness to try what might be possible, and if it doesn’t work, not give up.
  • Enhance the humanity and dignity of each person.
  • Look for the good in people and help bring it out.

More information

Helen Sanderson Associates is an international development, training and consultancy team that works with people and organisations through person centred planning and thinking.

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