Person-Centred Champions Program

Person-cerntred champions

Background to the Program

Over the last four years the Centre for Disability Studies (CDS) has developed and taught a Professional Development Program for Person Centred Champions. The model of professional development is based on a minimum of 20 participants and involves an intensive program of training, complemented by small support groups and individual mentoring.  Facilitated over a period of approximately 3 months, the model (see below) has been designed to foster Person Centred Champions in an environment that not only maintains momentum and creates consistency but also fosters and deepens person centred thinking.  During the course of the Program, ongoing consultation and support is provided by the Centre for Disability Studies.

The model is unique due to the inclusion of both support groups and 1:1 mentoring in the Program. Experience has shown that through these opportunities participants have the greatest chance to grow and to become more person centred. Providing three different learning environments also allows the participants to scaffold their learning and new experiences in a range of contexts.

The purpose of the Program is three-fold. First, to provide an understanding of the concept of person centredness; second, to train participants in the skills of person centred practice; and third, to develop the skills required to act as a catalyst for change. With regard to the learning outcomes of the Program, it is anticipated that participants will become able to:

  1. Discuss the definition, history and background to the development of the concept of person centredness.
  1. Apply and model a range of person centred approaches to communicating with, relating to, and facilitating and supporting others.
  1. Develop competence in a range of strategies for promoting a person centred approach with others, within an organisation and the community.
  1. Use techniques of reflection as a means for continuing growth in person centredness and the ability to support individuals in a person centred way.
  1. Describe and discuss the merits of various approaches to person centred planning.
The Core Components

The core components covered in the training days include, but are not limited to, the development of person centred thinking, skills in facilitation, listening, reflection and having influence. In depth teaching of various planning methods (including PATH and Essential Lifestyle Plans) is part of the program. There is also a focus on the future, and planning the way forward as an organisation.

The training days are designed to be interactive, and offer participants a practical approach to working with people. It is also noted that small support groups and individual mentoring are important elements that have been specifically included in order to provide the Champions with thorough and ongoing support to foster their individual development as facilitators of Person Centred Approaches within their organisation. At the completion of the Program it is anticipated that the participants would be able to run further in-house training, while providing person centred supervision and mentoring to other staff members.

The Program is not only bottom-up in its approach, but also, top-down. It recognises that the support and visioning provided by a leadership team are critical factors in the successful embedding of a person centred philosophy. By the third month of the Program, a Day with the Leadership Team is facilitated for senior leaders of the organisation in order to update them on the progress of the Champions, and to share some conversations around a person centred approach and what they can do to support the Champions.

Approximately two to three weeks after this Day, an Action Planning Day is facilitated for the Champions and the senior leaders. This provides an opportunity for the two groups to come together to share their recent experiences and to plan the way forward using the PATH (Planning Alternative Tomorrows with Hope) process.

With two facilitators to run the Program, participants are encouraged to learn from the facilitators’ different areas of expertise and styles of delivery.

More Information

Please see link to Flyer: PC Professional Development

The CDS Facilitators:

Ray Murray is a training consultant to the Centre for Disability Studies and is currently leading the delivery of the Person Centred Professional Development Program for Person Centred Champions.