Share This Post

A Fresh Perspective On Person-Centered Discovery Through The POM

By Kahleigh Krochak, Program Manager, Life’s Journey Inc.

My name is Kahleigh and I am a Program Manager with Life’s Journey Inc., a human services organization located in Manitoba, Canada. Prior to being in my current position, I was a Residential Coordinator for Life’s Journey and have previously also served in the roles of house lead and direct support worker for both adults and children.

About Life’s Journey Inc.

Life’s Journey Inc. is a non-profit social services agency operating in Winnipeg, Brandon, and Steinbach Manitoba. Founded in 2005, the organization provides a range of voluntary, wrap-around services that are individualized to meet the needs and goals of each person. Life’s Journey Inc.’s mission is “to support individuals, their families and communities, who are impacted by neuro-developmental disorders, including Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, to find a holistic balance between a spiritual, physical, intellectual and emotional well-being.”

Company logo of Life's Journey, Inc.

I had some familiarity with the Personal Outcome Measures® (POM) as my organization is exploring the CQL Accreditation process right now. As part of the process, Life’s Journey Inc. requested that I attend a Virtual Personal Outcome Measures® Workshop to gain better understanding of the Personal Outcome Measures®.

I was very interested in participating in the workshop as I am eager to learn new ways to ensure people have control over their own lives. The workshop that I attended, hosted by Inclusion Selkirk, took place from July 19, 2021, through July 23, 2021.

Lessons Learned Through The Virtual POM Workshop

In this workshop, I learned about some areas where people receiving supports can sometimes be lacking in outcomes that I had not previously considered. The concept of ‘social roles’ was not something I was familiar with, so I was then able to see what roles I and the others in my life have, and how these roles can be an important part of a fulfilling life.

Another idea I found interesting was that it is not possible to measure the supports that a person receives, until their own definition of that outcome is identified. Putting this focus on the individual first, and the supports second, is an excellent way to ensure all planning is truly person-centered.

I was familiar with the concept of people experiencing continuity, but I was able to learn more about it through the Personal Outcome Measures®. It is intuitive that moving would be disruptive to someone’s life. However, even after many years of living in the same place people may not experience a sense of continuity if they feel this could change at any time – without much input from them. In this sense, continuity is much less about maintaining the same circumstances for a long time, and more about ensuring that when change inevitably comes to an individual’s live, they are involved in controlling how the change occurs.

Transformation Through Virtual POM Workshop

Going into the workshop I had assumed the Personal Outcome Measures® was more of an evaluation tool or report card. After participating in the workshop, I had a better understanding that the focus is more on improving the lives of people receiving supports by asking questions that may not have been asked before, and uncovering goals or desires where new supports could be provided. By gaining a better understanding of people, more individualized supports can be offered – and as a result – more positive outcomes can be achieved.

I think this workshop will also help me support people to have informed choices when they are making decisions, through the use of the Three E’s (Education, Experience and Exposure). It will push us as an organization to ensure people are not being limited to certain roles, and that all potential options are explored.

“By learning to dig deeper into the hopes and dreams of the people we support, Life’s Journey Inc. will be better able to tailor supports to help people live the life the desire and achieve the goals they want.”

Using the Personal Outcome Measures® In the Future

Going forward I plan to use the Personal Outcome Measures® to gain a better understanding of the people receiving services. Part of my role involves supporting transitions for people, and I will use what I have learned to ensure as much as possible that transitions are done in a way that supports continuity.

By learning to dig deeper into the hopes and dreams of the people we support, Life’s Journey Inc. will be better able to tailor supports to help people live the life the desire and achieve the goals they want. I believe learning about the Personal Outcome Measures® will assist me to ensure these supports are provided.

# # #

Since 1969, CQL | The Council on Quality and Leadership has been a leader in working with human service organizations and systems to continuously define, measure, and improve quality of life and quality of services for youth, adults, and older adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and psychiatric disabilities. CQL offers accreditation, training, certification, research, and consultation services to agencies that share our vision of dignity, opportunity, and community for all people.