There are many disabled people in the community that need help to live and achieve whatever they aspire. Having plans that address each of them individually is important since this can help them better. The support can be offered using two methods of planning, which are individual service planning, and person-centred planning. Both have differences but are closely related and act as complements considering that they have the same outcomes in the end. Planning support for the disabled is crucial, as they are able to lead a more independent and fulfilling life as part of the community.
Importance of Planning Support for the Disabled
Within the community there are people with disabilities and that need help from others in order to realize their full potential as well as live a fulfilling life (Michael & MacDougall, 2001). The aim of giving help to such people is to include them as members of the community. Such people with disabilities include mentally unstable, physically disabled and even the old or aged people (McIntosh & Phillips, 2001). Planning support for people with disabilities is very crucial as it allows them to live a normal life without having to confine them to institutions. Individual service plans are best suited for helping such individuals as they consider the needs of the individual as well as those of the family to achieve maximum care (Selikowitz, 2008). Each individual’s needs are different from another’s and addressing them gives the individual a chance to be part of the plan (Michael & MacDougall, 2001).
These plans provide them with the necessary skills required to live each day independently without having to rely on others, who might feel the burden of having to be there all the time. Disabled people feel more capable when they do things for themselves (Michael & MacDougall, 2001). Independence gives them a sense to enjoy life every day just like normal people. In addition, the disabled are able to achieve their goals in life through such help, and their gifts and talents are not lost. They gain satisfaction in achieving their dreams and aspirations as well as feeling part of the society (Michael & MacDougall, 2001).
Principles of Effective Individual Service Plans
Individual service plans should be designed to meet the needs of the particular person. Therefore, they ought to be designed for a specific person and not generalized for a group or population of people. Such a plan should address interests and aspirations of a particular person only fit for him or her. Individual service plans should aim at focusing on one particular person. They consider that people are different and that what one might need may not be a need to another person (Department of Health, 2008).
Principles of an effective individual service include uniqueness to one individual, focused on the abilities of the person in question. It should include the preferences and choices of the person to ensure he/she takes part in making the decisions on their own. Those who are close to the individual should be involved. The individual’s hopes, dreams, goals and objectives should be given first priority, should be realistic and achievable depending on their capabilities and should be measurable and precise (Spicer, 2005). The plan should provide and state a means through which these goals and objectives can be met. Moreover, it should maintain confidentiality. The plan should establish the person’s social connections to ensure they fit in the community. It should also aim at making the person independent to make their decisions as well as carry out their activities normally without having to rely on others. Additionally, “…the plan should include a personalized statement” (Module 5 DSP Notebook, n.d.). This statement should relay what the person expects in the future as well as state the people held with the responsibility of ensuring the plan is implemented and works effectively.
Relationship between Person-centred Plans and Individual Service Plans
Person-centred planning focuses on the life of the person including their vision and dreams for their future (Sanderson, 2000). According to Dempsey and Nankervis (2006), person-centred planning seeks to help the individual by focusing on discovering and contributing to the gifts of the disabled person. It takes place with collaboration of the particular person and “their personal networks where there is commitment to taking action” that will make a lifestyle which can aid the disabled in taking part in community activities (Dempsey & Nankervis, 2006). On the other hand, individual service planning focuses on the identification as well as planning and building programs that help in increasing skills to the disabled person. In addition, it aims at coordinating service delivery to the disabled persons (Division of Developmental Studies, 2010).
The relationships between these two planning methods exists where they have to be used together to give a complete plan that will improve the lives of the disabled. For there to be an individual service plan, a person-centred plan is required (Division of Developmental Studies, 2010). The person-centred plan is then used as the basis for carrying out the individual service plan. The person-centred plan is developed through finding out issues such as the life and future of the disabled, which contains information about their dreams, hopes, actions, vision, people involved in their life, what they value, likes and dislikes, their strengths, gifts and weaknesses (Sanderson, 2000). This plan is prepared by family, friends, facilitators, focus persons and other important people around them. The personal network takes responsibility of actions that are person-directed to achieve outcomes such as presence in the community, making of choices, gain of respect, development of skills and taking part in the society (Sanderson, 2000).
Notice that individual service plans achieve the same outcomes as those of the person-centred plan. The focus of the individual plan is a “person directed service delivery and supports,” (Dempsey & Nankervis, 2006). The person-centred plan is used in driving the individual service plan. Under this plan, the information sought is that of strategies for delivery, goals and objectives and responsibilities. The service provider, in consultation with families, friends, focus persons, and other involved people, develops the plan and the support staff of the particular service provider takes responsibility of the actions. The person-centred plan lays down what needs to be done to achieve the desired outcomes for the individual through finding out what it is that the person wants in life. Individual service plan comes in as the plan that determines how to provide the particular services required. Hence, the relationship between the two plans is complementary.
Developing, Implementing, Monitoring and Evaluating Plans
Every plan has to be developed, implemented, monitored and evaluated to find out whether it is viable to achieve the set goals and objectives it was meant for. We first look at development, which is the first step in making plans work. Development of individual plans starts with undertaking assessment and gathering information of the particular individual to gain a picture of what the person wants (Development Disability Support Division, 2006). Some of the information needed for development of a plan includes likes and dislikes of the person, his or her history, needs, and what they aspire for in life. Development of the plan involves talking to the disabled and his family as well as those who provide care. Second, a review of available information from previous reports and plans is necessary (Spicer, 2005). Thirdly, an assessment of the person on such issues as behaviour should be included. A specialist can be sought to assess factors such as health conditions, abilities and communication skills. Lastly, consultation with service providers is essential.
However, information collected should be quite reliable, valid and provide informed judgment (Dempsey & Nankervis, 2006). To ensure reliability of the information it should be collected from several sources, across a period of time and get different specialists and assessors to give information for comparison. Validity of information aims at relevance for the plan development (Dempsey & Nankervis, 2006). Some of the ways to ensure this are through assessing whether the collected information does consider the person in question, whether useful, and whether information collected is relevant. Making an informed judgment involves ensuring that the person understands decisions being made for them, which should include their acceptance of the decisions. This can be ensured though involving the person in the development, and they understand everything. After such an assessment, the needs of the person, such as what he/she requires to do their tasks independently (Simons, 2009) should be determined. For instance, if a person is blind, he will need to be taught how to walk using a cane or a guide dog.
After developing a plan, it has to be put into action or else it will not serve its purpose (Dempsey & Nankervis, 2006). The implementation of the plan involves developing the programs, supports, and activities that will provide the way forward in implementing the plan. Several factors that affect implementation include resources available such as the financial ones, enough human capital and staff, their consistency, competency, appropriateness and knowledge of implementing the plan (Dempsey & Nankervis, 2006). Another factor is leadership and management of the resources and organizational structure of the team such as planning of the staff to fit all clients. Moreover, the community plays an important role in implementation, as it is important they know how to handle disabled people (Spicer, 2005).
Monitoring and Evaluating the Plan
After implementation, monitoring should then take place throughout the implementation and use of the plan to ensure it is well followed. According to Dempsey and Nankervis (2006), the stages of monitoring involve monitoring what actions are being taken in the implementation. The second stage is that of review of progress concerning the objectives, and revising the plan when it is needed. There are several ways monitoring and evaluation can be done (Pilling, 1995). One is the use of quantitative techniques that are used to check definite measures such as use of records checklists and charts to keep track of progress through comparing the results with previous records for evaluation. The other technique of monitoring and evaluating is qualitative. Qualitative techniques address what individuals think about the progress of the person such as if the person has managed to use a guide dog while walking. Monitoring should take place all the time to assess whether there are changing needs as progress continues and if the plan is working to satisfy the individual. Methods and techniques used should also be monitored and evaluated to assess whether objectives are met (Development Disability Support Division, 2006).
Planning and Outcomes in the Plan
There exists a difference between planning and outcome. One difference is that planning can be independent while outcomes depend on the plan itself since there cannot be outcomes without objectives, which are included in a plan. The planning involves identifying what the person needs and how to achieve his or her goals. Additionally, planning involves laying a strategy that shall be used to achieve certain desired goals and objectives. When the plan is implemented, the results are the outcomes, which obviously depend on the planning process. In the plans, the outcomes of the plans are directly related to the planning process that is responsible for coming up with an ideal plan that leads to certain goals.
Providing planning support is a crucial need for people with disabilities since it aims at making them live normally within the community and achieve their dreams. Individual service planning and person-centred planning are the two kinds of plans that exist under this support provision (Adams, Grieder, & ScienceDirect, 2005). The two plans need to be used together to achieve the best results for the individual they are designed for. Moreover, their implementation and evaluation needs to be done regularly to assess and review the plans, considering that as the individuals learns to do things on his/her own, some needs shall not be featured any longer while others will come up (Robertson, & University of Lancaster, 2005).
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