Finding the North Star with Person-Centered Planning

By Sara Porcaro | December 14, 2017

From calendars and agendas to a simple shopping list, visual tools are crucial to everyone when organizing their time and planning their day. But when it comes to mapping out one's dreams and goals, P.A.T.H goes the extra mile,combining the best elements of a number of vision-building and future planning tools.

P.A.T.H (Planning Alternative Tomorrows with Hope) is a person-centered planning process created in 1994 and is based on an earlier planning model designed for students and families, M.A.P.S (Making Action Plans). P.A.T.H., however, takes the process further, outlining eight steps to help individuals plan their futures with a support network to create an in-depth graphic illustration representing the individual, their dreams, and where they want those dreams to take them.

"It's like a blueprint," says Perspectives' Training Director Antoinette Gears, "and it all starts with finding the individual's 'North Star' -- their dream."

P.A.T.H. is a natural fit for an agency like Perspectives Corporation, where person-centered planning has always been the focus. Before P.A.T.H, planning for the future revolved around an Individual Service Plan, or ISP. However, in recent years a new push for advancing person-centered planning in Rhode Island has gained support at the state level -- an initiative that promises to give organizations more freedom to support individuals in their futures and truly make their plans as unique and special as possible.

Earlier this year, Perspectives' Program Managers and Service Coordinators trained with Rhode Island's leading person-centered planning consultant, Ken Renaud. With him, they learned how to facilitate the P.A.T.H. process to help individuals secure employment and achieve other life goals.As it stands, every individual receiving services and support from the agency either has completed or is working on their P.A.T.H plan -- from considering their passions and interests to deciding on where they want those interests to take them in life.

However, completing the P.A.T.H process is only the first step: the next step is mapping out the year ahead of them, so individuals have a concrete road to success. And with dedicated Perspectives employees and community members supporting these individuals, there's no doubt that the future ahead is one filled with happiness, support, and success. Let's wish these individuals the best of success on the journey to their North Star!