It may seem
logical that an organization that aspires toward person-centered excellence has
a person-centered work force. But exactly what does that mean?
For a person to
attain his or her personal vision of what really matters, the person’s supports
must be tailored to that vision. Person-centered organizations have a priority to
hire, train and maintain highly dedicated staff that are willing to work toward
helping people achieve their personal visions.
These staff members are committed to establishing relationships with the
people they support, so that they can understand their personal definitions of
quality of life and assist them in attaining that quality. These relationships create greater bonds, deeper
respect, commitment and mutual trust. Staff members are also culturally aware
and competent in helping the persons they support to continue cultural
traditions that are important to them.
organizations striving toward person-centered excellence recognize the inherent
value of hiring people with lived experience of mental health, addiction or
developmental disabilities, to serve as peer mentors, direct support
professionals, and other roles within the organization. When we demonstrate the value of lived
experience through meaningful, paid employment, we enhance opportunities for recovery
and self-determination of those we serve.
leaders in organizations aspiring to person-centered excellence know that in
order for staff to provide good person-centered supports, staff need to be
valued and supported in attaining their own personal qualities of life. Knowing
that “the less satisfied staff are, the more likely they are to leave”,
the organization supports person-centered goal attainment for both the people being
supported and the staff supporting them. Respect for staff, including fair pay
and working conditions and consistent assignment, creates stability in the work
force and greater ability to achieve person-centered goals.
organizational leaders hire, train and support their staff to be competent,
they are confident that staff can make informed decisions in their daily
support of people, and staff members are confident in making those decisions. Direct support providers, who support people
on a consistent basis, are in the best position to understand the person’s
definitions of quality of life, and they are trusted members of the team whose
opinions are important. Their autonomy
and contributions are encouraged. Data systems and technology are used to their
advantage, allowing staff to communicate efficiently and supporting staff
autonomy and flexibility.
organization has a system of continuous learning, listening to and responding
to people throughout all its organizational practices. Feedback is sought from
people being supported, family, friends, community members and staff.
Leadership is open to dialogue about how things are done and is willing to
change to improve performance. The vision, mission, values, budget and
organizational structure all support person-centered practice, and this is
reflected in the hiring practices, performance evaluation and reward systems.
within which a provider operates offers fair and affordable rates and
responsive payment systems that are not complicated. Payments and service rates
reflect differing support needs of persons being supported, based on assessment
of supports need to achieve quality of life outcomes. This creates flexibility
within a stable funding structure, supporting providers to achieve excellent
person-centered services for each of the people they support.
Person-Centered Care in Assisted
Living: An Informational Guide; Center for Excellence in Assisted Living, June
Measures 2005: Shared Values; The Council on Quality and Leadership; Towson,
Measures 2005: Responsive Services; The Council on Quality and Leadership;
Care Domains of Practice; General Home and Community Based Services Attributes
and Assisted Living Indicators; CEAL 2011
Highly Effective Staff”; http://www.helensandersonassociates.co.uk/reading-room/how/person-centred-thinking/habits-for-highly-effective-staff.aspx
“Skills for Care - helping social care employers to improve their
A Person-Centered Workplace: The Foundation
for Person-Centered Caregiving in Long-Term Care; Journal of the American
Medical Directors Association; Volume 8, Issue 1; January 2007, pages 46-54
“Becoming a Person-Centered System”; Michael
W. Smull, Mary Lou Bourne, and Helen Sanderson, 2009; http://www.nasddds.org/pdf/BecomingaPersonCenteredSystem-ABriefOverview.pdf
Make a Difference: A Guide for Person-Centered
Direct Support; John O’Brien and Beth Mount; http://www.inclusion.com/bkmakeadifference.html
The National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals
(NADSP). The NADSP mission is to promote the development of a highly competent
human services workforce which supports individuals in achieving their life
North Carolina Commission for Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities,
and Substance Abuse Direct Support Professional Work
Group Report - November 2007
The National Association of Peer
Specialists (NAPS) is an organization dedicated to promoting peer specialists
throughout the United States - seeking ways to improve the effectiveness of the
mental health system through the hiring of other peer specialists.
Bipolar Support Alliance Technical Assistance Services
Recovery and Community Integration
Certified Peer Specialist Project
Health Consumer’s Self Help Clearinghouse
Consumer Supporters Technical Assistance Center (NCSTAC)