Person Centered

What is “Person Centered” and why is it so important? 

Simply put, Person Centered means that we try to do everything we can to provide the support services that an individual wants.  Often times services to individuals with disabilities are based on their weaknesses and what “needs” to be fixed.  In a Person Centered organization, we focus on what a person’s strengths are and learn what it is they wish to accomplish in life. 

This emphasis requires that we really get to know a person and what it is they desire in life.  Then we figure out how to help them accomplish that.  We work with them, and others who know them well, and we help them establish a plan to get the most out of life. 

Why is that important?  Most of us have the opportunity to engage in a variety of life experiences.  Some good and some not so good.  These experiences help us to determine who it is we want to be and we decide on the path to get there.  Individuals with disabilities desire to experience this path as well.  However, this has often not been the case for them.  Their life experiences are limited; their circle of friends is often small or non-existent; and their quality of life is diminished.  When we work to help people have as typical a path to their life as possible, then they get to experience life in a more meaningful way. 

We don’t always stay on our original path and we choose a different direction and this is just as true for people with disabilities.  Often, however, in the past we have put people with disabilities on a path and required them to stay there.  If we are Person Centered, we listen to the individuals we support and help them take a new path if that is their desire.  And we work together to create a safe, respectful and meaningful journey.  At Bear Creek Services, we believe that if we do this well, people with disabilities will experience life to the fullest.

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