The Millom community Working together to improve the lives of local children

Training hosted by the Millom Parents and Carers Disability group showed community members how they can improve the lives of local children and young adults, ensuring that they are at the centre of all of their planning.

IMG_0230Person centred planning is an approach and collection of tools including colourful images and text to allow professionals, parents and anyone close to the child or young person to make future plans with a them rather than having the plan done for them.

The training day, which was supported by the Millom Alliance, was attended by over 30 parents, health professionals and staff from local schools.

Karen Hirst, local school nurse said: “Currently young people who have a disability or learning difficulties and other needs are offered an Education and Health Care Plan in school as a statutory requirement. Person centred planning should be at the centre of this process as it offers a long term plan which is specific to the needs of the young person. tweet

“This technique is a perfect example of good practice which both hears and supports the individual including the people most important to them.” tweet

The traditional approach sees professionals assessing an individual’s needs and allocating services. Person centred planning is different because it builds on a person’s circle of support e.g. family and friends whilst focusing on the individual’s strengths and asks what the young person wants to see in their future. This allows the individual to join in the discussions about their future to have a real ownership and input in the planning.

The person centred planning approach was demonstrated on Malcom Howitt; a local father of an autistic teenager. Malcolm said: “The day was great for me as a parent because it presented a very emotional and important issue in an easy and understandable way. It gives me hope that I can be part of planning my child’s future with him right at the heart of it” tweet

Jane McFie from the Millom Parents and Carers Disability group said: “I think the day was able to demonstrate that person centred planning is a practical solution to ensuring children and young adults can be truly included in planning their care whether in school, at home or in their community, whatever their ability or disability. tweet

It is a simple and practical process which looks at what a child or young adult can do, rather than what they can’t do, giving confidence and hope to them and their families.” tweet

Colin Newton from Inclusive Solutions led the day and said: “We really loved working with the big hearted people of Millom and beyond. They really embraced the virtues, value and practicalities of working with disabled children and young people in a person centred, inclusive way.” tweet

The group is hoping to host a facilitator’s course to train members of the community to lead person centred planning sessions to benefit more local people.

If you would be interested in similar training please contact Jane McFie, Millom Parents and Carers Disability Group: jmcfie@hotmail.co.uk

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