by Susan Beayni
As a parent of a 28 year old daughter who has had a support circle for almost 20 years and who have assisted her in planning and implementing her plan over many years, I have learned a lot about the importance of planning.
We refer to Person Directed Planning as planning in which the individual for whom the plan is being developed is the central person in determining what makes up the plan. The plan is based on the gifts, strengths and desires of the individual. One focus is on building freely given relationships with individuals who can be connectors to the community to ensure that the person is living a good life contributing to his/her community.
Gathering a group of people who care about a person to assist in planning with an individual, offers an opportunity to create an ongoing, intentional circle of support/network that can help implement the plan over the long term.
There are a number of reasons why planning is important.
Planning for the future enhances life in the present as well as developing a long term vision for the future.
When funding becomes available it is often given to individuals who have a plan in place.
Even when there are few dollars available for support, planning and developing connections with the community can often enhance the quality of life for the individual. There is an abundance of opportunities in our communities which are often not tapped into.
All family members benefit from developing an intentional support circle.
Planning is for everyone. If an individual cannot speak and does not communicate clearly, it is just as important for them to gather people who care about them and know them in different environments to get a fuller sense of who the person is and how they would like to see their life unfold.