Valley Mountain Regional Center (VMRC) is set to continue Person-Centered Thinking Training (PCT) classes to parents, staff, vendors and families in June. What is person-centered thinking? It is a philosophy that supports positive control and self-direction of people’s own lives. By teaching and supporting person-centered thinking skills, the hope is that it is likelier that Individual Program Plans (IPP) will be used and acted on, and that updating IPPs will occur “naturally”, with less effort and time, which will lead to an individual living a more fulfilling and independent life.
“We are striving to ensure that even more emphasis is placed on individuals being at the very center of all decision-making, focusing on the skills and gifts each person possesses, rather than being a deficit-driven approach”, said Cindy Mix, VMRC Director of Consumer Services. “VMRC first started the Person-Centered Training process by developing the One-Page Profile for all persons served. We listened to our consumers and their families, noting what is most important to individuals. Together we summarized those valuable, life-enriching items to get a more complete picture of the person’s hopes, dreams, wants, and needs.”
Some of the basic person-centered thinking skills that are taught in the training will be; the importance of being listened to and the effects of having positive control; the role of daily rituals and routines; how to discover what is important to people; how to respectfully address significant issues of health or safety while supporting choice; and how to develop goals that help people get more of what is important to them, while addressing issues of health and safety.
In 2018, all staff at VMRC were required to take the 2 day training to familiarize themselves with person-centered thinking. With the training complete, VMRC Service Coordinators and support staff could then utilize the person-centered thinking approach when working with individuals and families in developing their IPP.
“The PCT philosophy has been overwhelmingly embraced by our staff. VMRC trained all staff and have four Program Managers (Angie Shear, Karen Jensen, Pam Kidroske, and Liz Diaz) who were certified and are training newly hired staff, vendors, consumers, and families”, Mix says. “Instilling this ideology in all who are part of the consumer’s life is a top priority for us. Our trainers have done a tremendous job and their dedication is so appreciated.”
Now that most staff have been trained, VMRC is offering Person-Centered Thinking Training to more parents, families, vendors and new VMRC staff. The next training will take place on Monday and Tuesday, June 3rd and 4th, from 9am – 4pm, at the VMRC Stockton office. Many of the participants that are signed up to attend this training are also amongst the 100 individuals and families who were randomly selected by the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) for the Self-Determination program. While not a requirement for the Self-Determination Program, VMRC is highly recommending that these selected individuals and families do attend, as it will be very beneficial to them when developing their IPP. The hope is that this training will help attendees put together great ideas for creating their own person-centered plans.
“We will continually assist our consumers in developing plans based on their inherent rights and choices,” Mix says. “Overall, the goal is for individuals to direct their own personalized services and supports.”
Future Person-Centered Thinking Training classes are already scheduled. To see when they are offered, visit our website at https://www.vmrc.net/calendars/. To register for Person Centered Thinking Training, contact Angelique Shear, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 209-955-3294.
For more information, please contact Doug Bonnet, Special Assistant to the Executive Director, at 209-955-3656, email DBonnet@vmrc.net .
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