Personal Futere Planning

Personal Futures Planning is a tool for fostering new ways of thinking about people with developmental disabilities. Futures planning helps groups of people focus on opportunities for people with disabilities to develop personal relationships, have positive roles in community life, increase their control of their own lives, and develop the skills and abilities to achieve these goals.

Futures planning is more than just a plan; it is an ongoing problem-solving process. It comes about through a small group of people who agree to meet for mutual support, brainstorming and strategizing.

This circle of support or person-centered team makes commitments and takes action to ensure that changes will be accomplished for the focus person.


Personal Futures Planning can complement the Individual Habilitation Planning process. A futures plan can help those involved with the focus person see the total person, recognize his or her desires and interests, and discover completely new ways of thinking about the future of the person. A futures plan can lead to organizational change. The habilitation plan can help workers organize their work, and it can establish accountability among agencies for the implementation of certain strategies. Together, the futures plan and the habilitation plan provide a more comprehensive and feasible approach to achieving the desired goals of the person.



Compared with gentle teaching

In the US and Canada there is much experience in combining gentle teaching and personal future planning. Some agencies use the method PATH (Planning Alternatives for Tomorrow with Hope (more info on


Usually in personal future planning the emphasis is on material circumstances, developing skills needed in daily life and creating a support network around the person. The surplus value of the combination with gentle teaching is, that with gentle teaching we first focus on the most essential need of a person; the need to feel safe, loved, loving and engaged. When the person feels companionship in his relationship with important others, his life gets more meaning to him and he can really live his dreams.