A woman with auburn hair, wearing glasses, is sitting at a garden table, looking at papers

It gives clients a focus

“I get a lot of job satisfaction helping clients work with their My Plan”

Everybody within our Learning Disability Support service should have a My Plan in place. A My Plan helps a client review where they are in their life right now and what their ambitions and dreams are for the future.

Each client will have an annual My Plan Meeting which might involve their family, friends, Support Workers and the Service Manager, depending on their needs and wishes.

At these meetings we look through and complete the My Plan – you don’t go to a meeting with it all planned out! After the meeting, we’ll write down the minutes and complete the Goals and Actions page using the information in the My Plan, and it will get reviewed in six months.

I think a My Plan is important because otherwise things could stay very stationary, and you could have months go by with no significant change. It gives clients a focus, they know what they want and what their actions are. Their quality of life is much better.

My Plans have changed quite a lot over the years. They’re more person-centred now. Some clients will write down how they’re feeling right now and what they want in the future. Others will write in bullet points, and some will put pictures on A4 printed sections.

Dreams can be really big or they can be really small and important – like being able to butter your own bread.

I love the Quality of Life Tool where you can rate activities, ranging from playing computer games, to art, housework, cooking, visiting family, going to a car boot sale, and going into the countryside, according to how often a client does them and how much value they get from it.

I’ve found this tool really helpful if we’re struggling with the ‘Next’, or future, sections on My Plan. It’s especially good if you’re working with a new client.

A client wearing a black t-shirt stands in front of his My Plan board with a smile on his face.

Jo is a client in my service who has done so well with his My Plan. He has a passion for it and gets excited ticking items off to show that they’re completed and then telling his family about it.

He uses it as a communication aid and it is also an inspiration board for him. He’ll add extra bits to it as time passes, like a show he wants to see or courses he wants to do.

I get a lot of job satisfaction helping clients work with their My Plan.

Southdown manages supported living services across Sussex. Supported living is where an individual owns or rents their own home and has control over the support they get and how they live their lives. Accommodation and support is provided separately. It can be very different for different people. For one person, supported living might be a few hours of support a week to enable them to live independently by themselves in a rented flat. For another it may be around the clock support in a shared house or self-contained flat.