Person-centred and Community-focused

Person-centred and Community-focused services are not easy to describe, as they are flexible, responsive and emergent rather than static and uniform. Here are some of the things that I have been engaged in over the years, in an attempt to explore this vital aspect.

  • Hope. Click here to read a short editorial that asks us to reflect on our hope and aspirations for other people. As the ancient proverb has it, ‘without a vision, the people perish’, and holding hope for one another is perhaps our most important gift. A second editorial here asserts that such generalised hope is not enough, but must be centred around the person.
  • Dreams. Once we have some hope for others, we can pay attention to their ambitions or dreams of a better life. Click here for a paper that explores the different ways we dream and what these metaphors might mean for our capacity to hear and harness each other’s dreampower.
  • Person-centred plans. Back in 2002, I reviewed all the evidence I could find on how to evaluate the effectiveness of person-centred planning. The report is here. Then I worked with Molly Mattingly to produce an audit toolto help people involved in person-centred planning decide whether they were on track, and to help auditors to pick out evidence that the planning process was staying true to the approach. While some of this material is now out of date, particularly as the personalisation agenda has been advanced since it was written, it continues to ask some useful questions and challenge practices that are constantly at risk of slipping back into institutional ways. Download the audit tool here.
  • Triangle Island. The traditional polarisation between bad Service-centred approaches and good Person-centred approaches is challenged in a series of papers that offer an alternative model that weaves together a critique of some sociological theory while drawing on some psychoanalytic theory to explain why inclusion is so hard for some people to adopt. Read paper 1 here, paper 2 here and paper 3 here.
  • Hidden Conflict. I have worked with some international experts to analyse the different theoretical streams that have fed the growing enthusiasm for person-centred approaches over the past two decades. They are summarised here. These different sources have some things in common, but some areas where they have competing emphases. This forms the basis of a Workshop that explores whether competing understandings form the hidden basis of conflict between health and social services organisations. Contact me if you would like to be involved in the early stages of testing this new perspective.