JBFCS Alan B. Siskind Symposium Offers Ways to Transform Social Service Organizations in New York

Thursday, October 22, 2009 General News
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Agency Adopts Person-Centered Planning Practices to Promote Organizational Change and Innovative Service Delivery


YORK, Oct. 22 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today the JBFCS Alan B. Siskind Symposium, "Person in the Center:  Innovation and Change," with Keynote Speaker Beth Mount, Ph.D., will
explore person-centered planning and organizational innovation followed by a panel discussion that features innovative practice at JBFCS.  Beth Mount, Ph.D. is Founder and Director of Graphic Futures.  She is an award-winning consultant to a variety of local, state and national and international projects seeking to strengthen the values, implementation practices and innovative policy initiatives related to person-centered planning and service design.

The event will be held at Scholastic Auditorium, 557 Broadway, New York, NY from 8:30 AM to 11:00 AM.  The symposium is sponsored by JBFCS programs The Center for Child Development and Learning, and Hawthorne Cedar Knolls, along with JBFCS-affiliate The Shield Institute.

Bruce A. Grellong, Ph.D., JBFCS Chief Psychologist and Director, The Center for Child Development and Learning, says "This symposium will examine the person-centered planning model, its application in different systems of care, the self-actualizing possibilities it creates for people with disabilities and how organizations can bring about change within and across various systems of care."

Person-centered planning is a process that builds on the capacities of individuals, their families, neighborhoods and support staff.  It provides a means for individuals to maximize their contributions to society and realize their dreams of full inclusion.  Person-centered development is growing throughout the fields of developmental disabilities, mental health and child welfare organizations.  Person-centered work invites deep changes at all levels of organizational practice and requires significant investments in personal development and organizational innovation.

A Roadmap for Change

Person-centered planning is changing how people view the futures of individuals with disabilities.  This approach is often referred to as a "paradigm shift" away from traditional institutional and managed care models of service delivery toward community supports that empower people to follow a more personal and meaningful path to inclusion.

The person-centered approach relies on partnerships between natural supports and the service system that maximize the person's strengths and preferences and their membership in community life.  The person-centered approach creates a team of people who know and care about the individual with a disability, who come together to develop and share a dream for the person's future, and who work together to organize and provide the supports necessary to make that dream a reality.

According to Beth Mount, Ph.D, "Person-centered planning requires a new and different way of thinking.  No longer do we rely on the system and say, 'We are sorry, our school and community do not offer that service.'  Instead we say, 'This is a reasonable and positive goal for this individual.  Let's figure out how we can work together to make this happen.'"

The JBFCS (www.jbfcs.org) offers the most advanced mental health care and social services to help promote well-being, resilience and self-sufficiency for individuals and families.  Every year 65,000 New Yorkers from all ethnic, racial, socio-economic and religious backgrounds, across the five boroughs and in Westchester, rely on the JBFCS for help through some 175 programs.


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