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.
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.
Washington County offers monthly Peer Learning Circles to staff with topics that are person-centered. These can include topics related to supporting people, but also topics that are related supporting each other in the workplace. These are hosted by trained case managers, assessors, or public health nurses employed by Washington County and provide a space to increase internal networking, share creative ideas, provide supportive listening related to frustrations or challenges, and – when able – make changes to improve staff’s ability to provide support to people who come to Washington County for help with doing what they want to do in their lives.
Person-centered training videos created by STAR Services and Washington County