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What is Person Centred Planning?


Person Centred Planning (PCP) was first developed in the 1980s as a way to enable children and adults to move out of special placements in schools or hospital into mainstream life. Person Centred Planning is built on the values of inclusion. It looks at what support a person needs to be included and involved in their community.

Watch this short animation made by The Councild for Disabled Children and the Department for Education that explains more about The EHC Plan and Person Centred Planning. 

What does Person Centred Planning aim to do?

A Person Centred approach offers an alternative to type of planning based on a medical model of disability. This is set up to assess need, allocate services and make decisions for people. Person centred planning is based on the social model of disability. It aims to empower people who access specialist services by handing power and control back to them.

It aims to:

  • Put the parent and child or young person is at the heart of the process
  • Highlight the child or young person’s strengths and interests
  • Take a ‘tell us once’ approach to families sharing information with control of what’s shared.
  • Listen and respond to the importance of their views, wishes and aspirations
  • Focus on what outcomes (goals) families and young people are seeking for their futures.
  • Collaboratively plan the support needed to achieve these goals.
  • Ensure education, health and social services and professionals work together to discuss and agree an overall approach
  • Give families, children and young people better choice and control over their futures.

How will children, young people and families understand how to take part? 

Service providers and people working with families should ensure that parents, children and young people are genuinely involved in all aspects of planning and decision making. This approach helps:

  • develop better understandings
  • build positive relationships
  • increased levels of confidence
  • leads to better participation

The process should be:

  • easy for children, young people and their parents or carers to understand,
  • use clear ordinary language and images rather than professional jargon.
  • highlight the strengths and capabilities of the child or young person
  • support the child or young person to say what they do well, what they are interested in and what they want to do in the future.

Top Tips Guide to support children and young people's participation

Parent and professionals who are involved in supporting disabled children and young people to fully take part in planning can find a Top Tips Guide here. This has been co-developed with disabled children and young people.

It can seem very different to think in this way when you first start but it is worth it.

Information sheets and resources are available in the download section of this page.

Page last updated 6/01/22

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