Person-Centered Culture and Practice

Person-centered means: Empowering people to choose, set, and reach their own life goals, and treating each person with dignity and respect. Asking the person who receives services, “What do you want?”, and also knowing who this person is and what is important to them. Washington County strives to support people with what is important to them and what they want to do in their lives, with a focus on the person’s preferences, strengths, identified outcomes, and dreams.

  1. History

Washington County received a grant from Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) in with a focus on supporting people to move into their own homes from corporate foster care settings. Partnering with STAR Services and using person-centered principles and practice to truly identify what is important to a person, this was a great success! Because of the success of this work, Washington County proposed to shift the focus of the grant to expanding the use of person-centered concepts beyond housing and into all areas of disability services and supports.

In continued partnership with STAR Services, Washington County identified that implementing person-centered principles and practice when working with those we support required more than just utilizing the concepts taught in mandatory trainings. Being person-centered requires an entire culture shift at all levels and Washington County has implemented several measures internally to support our staff with these changes. These include, but are not limited to: changing the language that we use on a daily basis and in our documents, providing person-centered language and other training at the start of employment, providing monthly person-centered group work (Peer Learning Circles), implementing person-centered concepts and discussions into team meetings, and ongoing discussion and review of person-centeredness in daily work with those that we support.  

  1. Best Practices
  1. Peer Learning Circles
  1. Training/Resources