What is Person Centred Practice?
Person Centred Practice (PCP) is an inseparable aspect of The Strengths Approach but is explained here in detail because it is a term that is specifically used in some sectors, including Aged Care and Disability services.
Person Centred Practice aims to ensure that:
- self-determination is key
- client’s autonomy is safeguarded
- lifestyle and day to day decisions reflect the client’s wishes and or preferences
- listening, observing and understanding the client is therefore central
- service provision enhances quality of life
Before Social Services emerged as we know them today, most responses to personal predicaments were centred in a medical approach in which clients were seen as patients who required ‘treatment’ for their issues. If personal concerns were social and had not developed into medical concerns (e.g. depression), they were often left unaddressed. This was not a fulsome approach to the varied aspects of one’s life and was medico-centric.
Today the preferences, interests, uniqueness and empowerment of each client forms the centre of our intervention or service and practitioner and organisational resources are used to support their needs. Supporting another’s right to self-determination is KEY.
“Person centred Practice honours the life and preferences of another, always, and seeks to sew these into the fabric of service delivery or everyday care.”
Understanding Dignity of Risk
Understanding PCP is perhaps crystallised when we consider Dignity of Risk. Dignity of risk is a term that has become commonplace in the aged and disability services and can be understood more fully when we ponder the following question. Is the average person in the community allowed to make this decision? When we are supporting another person to make decisions for themselves or we hold their powers of attorney, this question guides our decision making and directly relates to another’s right to self-determination.
Dignity of Risk and Duty of Care are considered together during decision making with a client, resident or participant to ensure people are not robbed of their rights to decide how they want to live their lives. Duty of Care is acting on behalf of the person only when their wellbeing or safety is likely to be jeopardised by the decisions they wish to or are making.
Hence the client-worker partnership is at forefront in any planning and implementation. Working in close partnership ensures the client’s wishes are not over-ridden by the views and or beliefs of the practitioner. This practice involves truly listening and engaging by becoming curious about how their preferences will make a difference in their lives and advocating for these.
Empowering clients in our practice
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Person centred Practice always invites the client to direct their lives as much as they can. As a client’s ability to do this will vary, supports are designed to complement the resources of the individual – rather than compensating for their perhaps unexpressed wishes or perceived deficits. In practice this may mean that a comprehensive care plan is developed with transparency that articulates everyone’s role in supporting the client.
As with The Strengths Approach, PCP is based on the quality with which we approach people and therefore relevant to any relationship across any service sector.
Bernadette Glass and Associates offers a number of online webinars throughout the year that outline how to implement a Person centred Practice. The webinars also include time for Live Q and A with Bernadette Glass. Individuals and agencies wishing to learn more about PCP can sign up to the mailing list to be notified of webinar times. Tailored in-house training can also be arranged if preferred.
What people say
“I got so much out of the Strengths Based Leadership training I did with Bernadette Glass & Associates. The two days allowed me to hear from others, discuss work issues and look at solutions. The delivery of the training is presented in a gentle and non-imposing way allowing the participants to really feel how they may be in the workplace. It was a lovely way to reflect on who I am being in the workplace.”
Program Manager, Perth
Learn About Our Upcoming Workshops in Person centred Practice