What is Personal Futures Planning?

A group of people sit on the ground in India.


Personal Futures Planning, sometimes also known as Person-Centered Planning, is a process to assist teams to plan for the next stage of an individual's life.  Typically the team includes a person's family and teacher or rehabilitation worker, as well as friends, neighbors, and people of significance in the individual's life.  They gather together with the target-person to focus on the future, with an emphasis on what the individual likes and what they can do, rather than on a pre-defined outcome.


Basic Components

There are different ways to organize the process, but in general it includes some basic components:  Comparison of traditional planning process and person-centered process

  • What are the person's strengths and interests?
  • What is the individual's dream for the future?
  • Who are the important people in the person's life?
  • What resources are available?
  • What challenges or obstacles are present?


How is Personal Futures Planning different from traditional planning?

  • Personal Futures Planning (PFP) focuses on what an individual CAN do, rather than what she cannot do. 
  • It also uses discussions with the family and people at the center of the individual's life to drive the planning, rather than relying on written reports by professionals.
  • PFP focuses on an individual's strengths and preferences, rather than on a medical or clinical model
  • Assessment is flexible or child-centered, rather than standardized.


How the Process Works

There is no special equipment needed and the only thing that is required is a willingness to look at positive possibilities for the future.  The people in the planning team need to make a commitment to meet on a regular basis for an extended period of time, as this process takes some time. 


Learn more about Personal Futures Planning in this chapter by Ms. Vimal Thawani, Blind People's Association (India).  It presents an introduction to Personal Futures Planning (PFP) and discusses why it is an effective tool.  It also includes information about maps, with colorful samples.

Click here to read the chapter.

From Creating Learning Opportunities: A Step-by-Step Guide to Teaching Students with Vision Impairment and Additional Disabilities, Including Deaf blindness  (Voice and Vision India). For more information, see their publications page.


What is Personal Futures Planning?Making Dreams Real | Maps | Example of Personal Futures Planning Process


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