Blending Person Centred Thinking and Asset-based Community Development has been both a natural progression of two powerful strengths focused approaches yet, has also been a challenge in discovering where the intersections and borders are within the stand-alone frameworks and philosophies.
Person Centred Community Driven practice delivers an experience for people that shifts mindsets towards a strengths focused approach. Learning that searching for the gifts, strengths and passions of people, existing and extending relationships, linking into welcoming communities serves to build satisfying lives. Through reflecting on one’s own way of being and listening to the perspective of others, links supporters to build and grow good lives. Understanding that everyone has skills and abilities develops collaborative teams. Planning towards desirable futures while learning how to support others in a way that makes sense to them and understanding the art of asking powerful questions acts as a vehicle to transform the services provided to people.
The practice provides the opportunity for people to interactively learn new practices and tools, implement them and embed the culture change required to personalise supports to be ready for the new world with an NDIS.
The intersections and borders:
Mike Green (ABCD in Action, Denver, USA) talks about building the bridge from client to citizen and this framework has supported PCCD practices to explore the relationship between communitycentred work and person centred work. Some of the commonalities that have been discovered are:
- Working with foundational principle that everyone has gifts, skills and abilities to share is an important focus
- Individuals, families, communities and organisations are full of resources – when we support people to reframe their issues and concerns and to instead look for opportunities and possibilities, people become empowered and hopeful
- Community leadership comes in many forms – some of which you would not expect
- Relationship building is at the core of strengths focused work
During one 4 day workshop in the Northern Rivers area in NSW, and through the process of Open Space Technology, innovative ideas and ways of moving forward emerged! The most powerful actions that came from the participants took shape as working discussion questions, as follows:
- How can we effectively embed these strengths focused approaches in organisations, community projects, individual lifestyle plans and family values?
- How can these learnings further support the changes re: the NDIS?
- How can we work together to affect change?
- Why do people feel they know who I am and what I’m capable of? (on behalf of a PWD)
- How does an LP stay client focused when the parents aren’t?
- How do we promote fairness and equity in funding packages?
- How do we include person centred approach to individual funding (NDIS) when service providers aren’t involved with the assessment process?
- How do we assist individuals and families to develop the skills required to ensure adequate support plans are developed?
Person-centred, Community-driven practice is an engaging, bold step forward for both community members and service providers to effectively utilise the identified individual, family and community strengths while planning a collaborative and locally based future! PCCD, as a practice, is still in development but it’s getting rave reviews and will continue to unfold as people support and share the identification of intersections and boundaries by adopting the practice in their everyday work!