The Sheltering Tree | Child & Family Services


What is Person-Centered Approaches?
A person-centered approach helps people who are using services have control over their own life in a positive way. The person receiving supports should have a voice with what type of care they want to receive and how the care is executed. Considering the person’s desires, values, family situation and social community will help let the worker know how to support the person as a whole. There should be guidelines put in place to know that everyone is on the same page and that the personalized care is being done properly. A person-centered approach is to insure that the care givers are seeing the whole person for who they are and not only focusing on “fixing what is wrong.” 

What is a Person Directed Plan (PDP)
A Person Directed Plan (PDP) is a meeting focusing on the individual’s goals. This meeting allows the individual to have a voice in what they want to see happen in their own life. They are the most important person in the meeting and have the most say. Other people in the meeting would be family, close friends and organizations that the individual works with. The best time to start developing a PDP is during transitional periods, such as moving or changing schools.

 MAPs is a 7 step tool, where the individual can figure out how to move forward towards a better future for themselves. This happens with the help of their family, friends, and organizations to maintain goals and dreams that the individual has for themselves.  After all the steps have been completed, the group will then draw out the results on a poster board paper in a very creative way. The individual should be the facilitator of what is being put on the poster board to demonstrate each step.

Step 1 - What is the history?
This step helps people who do not know much about the individual’s past have a better understanding of what the individual has gone through.  Such as being in an institution or completing high school. This can help make sense of the present.

Step 2 - What are your dreams?

This step is the biggest part of MAPs. There are two types of dreams, metaphorically and aspirations. They should both be treated the same. When someone has a metaphorical dream there should be more questions asked about how they want to achieve the dream. There is no dream that someone can not reach, as there is always a hidden message to why they have this dream in the first place.

Step 3 - What are your nightmares?

This step helps the individual express their fears to the group. This could be fears from the past, present or fears that have always been there. This step makes sure that these fears do not occur in the future or how to deal with the fear if it happens again.

Step 4 - Who is the person?
During this step each person present in the meeting will describe the individual using only one-word. The Individual also describes themselves and how they want to be seen in the future.

Step 5 - What are their gifts, strengths and talents?
During this step each person present in the meeting will talk about the individual’s gifts, strengths and talents. Each gift, strength and talent is talked about and how it impacts each person in the meeting. This helps focus on what the individual is good at, instead of what they need help with.

Step 6 - What does the person need (to achieve the dream and avoid the nightmare)?
This step helps to figure out how the individual will accomplish their dreams and move away from their nightmares. This could mean saving money to go on a trip or working with other organizations to help with care.

Step 7 - Action Plan
This step makes sure when, where and who will help the individual with their dreams. Setting a time for when each dream should be accomplished and who will be the facilitator to make sure the dream happens.


PATHs is a 6 step tool, that focuses on a vision the person has for themselves. This tool is more like a timeline, of where the person wants to be in the future. In the meeting there should be the individual and his or her close family and friends. Who are there to support them and are devoted to making things happen. “PATH is a way for diverse people, who share a common problem or situation to align…their purposes…their understanding of their situation and its possibilities for hopeful action…their action for change, mutual support, personal and team development and learning.” Jack Pearpoint, John O`Brien and Marsha Forest.

Step 1 - The dream
This step is when the individual talks about where they see themselves and how they would like to live. The individual may make a broad statement or a day today situation. This will be the focus throughout the meeting.

Step 2 - Sensing the goal
This step focuses on what the participants and the individual thinks it would be like in a year from now. Everyone discusses what events would have taken place if a year has passed and how it’s like to live in a better future. The only two rules for this stage is that all goals are positive and possible.

Step 3 – Now
This step helps analyze what is happening now and how to move forward to have a better future.

Step 4 - Enrol/Who‘s on board?
This step discusses who will help the individual on achieving these goals and if there is anything that could stand in the way of the individual achieving them.

Step 5 - How are we going to build strength?
The step makes sure that the group and individual stays committed to following these goals and completing them. This could mean supporting each other and the individual by meeting regularly or emailing to keep in contact.

Step 6 - Three/six month goals
This step is to help follow-up and see if changes have been made and the goals are in process. The group then talks about where they want to be in three and six months. Sometimes this leads to planning a meeting to make sure everyone is on the same page.

Copyright ©  The Sheltering Tree | Child & Family Services 

Establishing deep roots in the lives for which we care