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Person Centered Thinking is a guided process for learning how someone wants to live and developing a plan to help make it happen. The outcome is the life the person wants, not just the plan that describes it.

What It Is:

What It Is Not:

South Dakota Gathering 

The Gathering is a platform for sharing ideas, thoughts, and learning. A place to become inspired, make connections, and to be reminded that we share the same purpose and struggles. A Gathering is an interactive event during which all are teachers and all are learners.

Why Use Person Centerd Thinking Skills? 

Person Centered Thinking (PCT) tools are helpful in many circumstances, particularly in the current environment of doing more work with fewer resources. PCT is a way of stepping back from the typical cycle of putting out fires and using a proactive approach to learning and providing supports. Rather than responding to symptoms we see by scheduling meetings to problem solve, PCT provides a way to addres the real issues behind symptoms.

When we have a way to sort what is really important to people, what our primary responsibilities are, what's working and what's not working, we can take action in a way which truly impacts people's lives and move forward rather than in circles. PCT also provides a common language everyone can understand to help support the person.

Sustaining Person Centered Practices

The philosophy of person centered supports has expanded within the Department of Human Services (DHS), with a commitment from the entire Department to invest staff time and resources to learn and implement person centered practices in their day to day work.

As our knowledge of PCT has evolved, we have also recognized the vital role that families have in not only the lives of people who experience disability, but ALL people. Families are the core unit in our society, serving as a source of support for all its members. For people with disabilities, the role of family is unique and often central in the support and care provided across the lifespan. This evolution does not take focus off the person accessing supports, but rather challenges us to consider the person in context with the story of the entire family and the unique experiences, culture, attitudes, and day to day role in the person's life. We must challenge our system to expand the vision of quality supports and consider how our current policies and practices either engage families or exclude them

DDD is excited to partner with our provider network to offer a variety of Person Centered Thinking trainings and share the Charting the LifeCourse framework to add a new set of "tools"to South Dakota's toolbox.

People Planning Together Training

A 2 day training designed for self-advocates. Through a series of activities and exercises, this course provides people with an opportunity to think about what is important to them as well as what is important for them, then look at what kinds of supports the person needs and would like to have in helping them with what matters most. Each self-advocate is required to bring along someone to support them that they are close to and feel comfortable with. It is recommended that the supporter have an understanding of Person Centered Thinking concepts.

Self-advocates will learn how to develop their own person centered plan. They will learn more about them selves and help others learn how they want to be supported. They will also learn ways to express their dreams and determine their goals. It will help them be more involved in their planning and their life! They will be motivated and inspired!

Supporters will learn effective techniques to listen & communicate more clearly. They will learn proven tools to gather person centered information to develop a Person Centered Plan. And learn creative methods to develop & update the plan. It will help people experience shorter & more productive person centered planning meetings.

Person Centered Thinking Training

This training consists of 2 days of exercises where the participants acquire basic person centered thinking skills such as: The importance of being listened to and the effects of having no positive control. The role of daily rituals and routines. How to discover what is important to people and sort what is important for people from what is important to them. How to respectfully address significant issues of health or safety while supporting choice. How to develop goals that help the person get more of what is important to them while addressing issues of health and safety.

The training in person centered thinking is recommended for families, service coordinators, educators, and all paid staff. It serves as a foundation for everyone who is involved in supporting people. These tools have been proven to enhance services for children and adults when used in planning. This training is the basis for the other Person Centered trainings.

Families Planning Together Training

A 1 day workshop designed for family members. Families will learn Person Centered Thinking tools and create a one page description. The Person Centered Thinking tools can be used to plan and problem-solve with anyone at any age and almost every circumstance! The tools will assist with planning now and for the future! A one page description is a great way to help others "get to know"the person in a meaningful way! It helps others see beyond the disability. Share it with teachers, therapists, doctors, support staff and others.

PCT Training Descriptions 

PCT Training Calendars 

PCT Tools & Resources