An apparent contradiction in adopting person-centered planning is exemplified by the question “If a system adopts person-centered planning, isn't it system-centered”? Such ambiguities are obvious to employees, who increasingly are being asked to consider more personalized ways of assisting people through person-centered planning. Our premise in this article is that employees' reservations are well-founded and should be addressed in order to facilitate understanding and eventual reconciliation of unavoidable conflicts that emerge when person-centered planning is undertaken by agency employees. Administrators who acknowledge the uncertainties accompanying person-centered planning and invite discussion about conceptual and practical difficulties inherent in its adoption are modeling a collaborative method of discovering ways to help people get what they need. Examples of group solutions are presented.
Preparation of this manuscript was supported in part by funds from the New York State Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities. The authors thank Aletha Baumann, Michael Dillon, John Jacobson, Al Pfadt, and Wolf Wolfensberger for their comments on an earlier version of this paper.