The methods and the philosophy of supported employment and person-centred planning are for me like twins. They share the same DNA of basic attitudes and the goal of inclusion, belong together, live their own lives and have fun when they meet each other.
Personal Future Planning is used in Germany as the general term of the wide range of person-centred planning approaches, which we use to create an enabling space with a person to think about his or her values, motivation, interests, skills, strengths, and knowledge, to explore dreams and clarify personal goals. We see this as a part of a positive diagnosis as the positive psychology calls it. We explore what makes him or her stronger, how he or she communicates and what environment and support fits best. A circle of support is a good element in the transition to a new position. The question to explore is what fits to the person because all people have different combinations of their personal needs, competencies, and values. Person-, community- and relationship-orientation are three sides of one coin and a strategy for helpful services for vocational integration and social inclusion.
In the past 30 years, we discovered a wide range of material that is very helpful in the career planning for all. The research in the field of positive psychology in the recent years undermines the importance of a strengths and value-based approach. In this keynote speech I want to look ahead and share my learning on this journey and give examples of what I find helpful.
He studied social work, social science, vocational education, special education and rehabilitation in Hamburg, Bremen and Eugen, Oregon, USA. In the early 1990s he developed a supported employment project in Hamburg. In 1995 he did his Masters in special education and Rehabilitation with a focus on supported employment. He was the first executive director of the German Association of Supported Employment (BAG ÙB) (1995-2001), was board member of the EUSE and took part in several European Projects on Supported Employment. His dissertation was about the long-term effects of supported employment (2006). Within the two European projects New Path to Inclusions (2009-2011) and New Path to InclUsion Network (2013) an inclusive training in person centred planning was developed. He was one of the founders and the first president of the German speaking network of person centred planning (Netzwerk Persönliche Zukunftsplanung) (2011-2019).