HCBS Training

Problem Solving Using Person-Centered Strategies

two women helping man get out of car and into wheelchair

The strategies used in person-centered practices can help staff problem solve when challenges arise. There are many person-centered and positive support skills that can help people think differently about challenges that occur and to create a positive climate. Your organization can choose the person-centered and positive support practices that are the best fit for the people you support, the staff members involved, and the larger community.

An organization was working on the best way to support people receiving services.  The organization's staff members felt that each person receiving services was unique and wanted to support everyone's different interests and activities. At the same time, the organization struggled with limited resources. In one home, four people lived together as housemates in a small city. The housemates shared limited staff and there was only one vehicle that coud be used for different activities for the four men. To address this challenge, the housemates and staff decided to problem solve using a tool called The Integrated Supports Star from Charting the LifeCourse. This  person-centered tool helps people focus on each person's strengths and discuss how people can live the life they want. The group brainstormed across five areas of the Integrated Supports Star: 

  • Personal Strengths
  • Relationships
  • Technology
  • Community
  • Eligibility 

By using this process, the team discovered that two of the housemates belonged to the Lion’s Club. Each of the men talked about new friends they had met since joining the Lion’s Club. One person suggested that the men reach out to their new friends to ask them if they could share a ride to and from Lion’s Club meetings. Over time, the two men built even more meaningful relationships with their new friends that led to new invitations to attend other events with family and friends. 

The group also talked about another housemate who liked to visit the local fire station and was volunteering there for a few hours each week helping to maintain and clean equipment after fire events. The volunteer work was appreciated so much by the fire department staff that the young man's time at the station had recently increased. One suggestion that came up was that the young man could learn to take the city bus to get to the fire department. The group created a plan to help the young man buy a bus pass and set up an application on his phone that would help him find the bus route to the fire department. With support, the young man learned his bus routes so well he could go to work on his own without support from staff.

The Integrated Supports Star helped the team find new ways to address the challenges faced while working hard to make sure that everyone could live their best lives. For more information on Charting the LifeCourse, please see the Module 8 Resources Page .