Person Centered Planning

Photo of a man and a woman at a whiteboardWhat is Person Centered Planning?

Person Centered Planning is an ongoing process that helps people plan for the life they want.

The process includes supporting informed choice, exploring communities and options for support, and listening to people.

From these steps, a plan can be developed that supports life’s goals.


“In order for the PCP process to include self-determination and informed choices, it is important that I, the self-advocate, be at the center. Talking about my likes, dislikes, dreams, preferences, strengths, and interests must be part of the planning. This is MY life.”

SUFU Self-Advocate

To support people in planning, it is important to keep life outcomes - not service outcomes - as the focus.

In this short video, Beth Mount talks about the differences between Service-Centered Planning and Person-Centered Planning.

Positive outcomes when people are part of life in a community:

  • People having friends who call them and pick them up for coffee just because they like them
  • People being in lots of culturally valued roles –employee, volunteer, teacher, friend, adult learner, husband, wife, board member, Y member, church choir participant, business owner
  • People having calendars full of personally chosen events
  • People making healthy choices in their lives through exercise, nutrition, and preventative care
  • People experiencing lives that look different at different times of the year, in different years - “no status quo life”
  • People having a significant other to share their capacity for love with
  • People celebrating their cultural and spiritual beliefs in places that are meaningful to them
  • People having healthy, caring relationships with family
  • People being able to access the varied transportation they need to get where they are going

Icon of the LifeCourse medallionCharting the LifeCourse (CtLC)

Charting the LifeCourse (CtLC) is a framework that can help all people create a vision for their future. It is designed to support a person, their case manager/care coordinator, and people who love and care about them. These tools guide thinking about what has helped or hindered achieving their goals in the past. It also helps create a vision of the choices, options, and experiences that are part of their full and meaningful life.

The National Community of Practice/Supporting Families LifeCourse Framework offers tools to help people at any stage of life to think about life as they want to live it. This individually described vision may be referred to as the person’s good life.

Click here for an Introduction to the LifeCourse Framework.

Maine has adopted eight Life Domains to help promote PCP conversations and learn what is important TO/ important FOR each person (click each for more information and resources):

Tools to Support Developing a PCP

The Life Experiences Series is recommended to help explore specific stages. Download Life Experiences Quick Guides:

  • Focus on Transition to Adulthood Quick Guide
  • Focus on Adulthood Quick Guide
  • Focus on Aging Quick Guide

There are a variety of tools that can help individuals and their families with the PCP process. OADS recommends using Charting the LifeCourse tools developed by families. These are available to download for free.

Personal Profile: Planning works best when individuals and families successfully communicate to others about what is most important in their life.  Use of the One-Page Profile provides an at-a-glance way of knowing what really matters to the person and can be used as they meet different people.  The Personal Profile helps others know what to pay attention to and what works best to create positive change for the person.

Life Stage Trajectory: Use of the Life Stage Trajectory form helps identify the steps or experiences a person might consider as part of “a good life.” The space around the arrows can be used to think about current or needed life experiences that help point the trajectory arrow in the direction of the good life vision.

Integrated Supports:  The Integrated Support Star helps identify the supports the person is using now and think about other supports that might be helpful. In the past, conversations about supports for people with disabilities mainly revolved around the supports offered by the disability system.  This tool helps identify a variety of supports outside of that scope. These supports include relationships, technology, personal strengths/assets, supports anyone in the community can access, and others based on eligibility criteria. Download the Integrated Supports Star Tip Sheet: an overview of how and why to use this tool.

Person-Centered Planning Resources

Case Manager Training:

Care Coordinator Training:

Provider Training:

PCP Rules/Statutes:

PCP Forms:

If you have questions about person centered planning, would like to share successes and/or make recommendations, please send to