CET Standard of the Month  

Standards 5 & 17 Personal Control

Personal control means that individuals feel they are in charge of their lives and are as independent as they want to be and are able to be given their personal circumstances.

These standards focus on

  • enabling individuals to enjoy as much personal control as possible in every area of their lives (e.g., positive behaviour management, transportation, finances)
  • assessing the individuals’ satisfaction with their level of independence in various areas of their lives
  • Ensuring that supports are tailored to the individuals ‘specific needs, abilities and wishes. Individuals who do things for themselves and are supported to have as much personal control as possible are more likely to
  • feel emotionally healthy and resilient
  • develop independence
  • learn how to effectively deal with problems
  • have productive and fulfilling lives

They will also have a better understanding of their assistive technology (AT) and environmental interventions (EI).

Person-centered planning refers to approaches that help individuals plan their lives and obtain the supports needed to meet identified goals. A life-planning model assists them to increase their personal self-determination and improve their independence.

While enabling individuals to have personal control is necessary, there may be times service providers need to intervene to help individuals overcome excesses (e.g., smoking, eating, drinking alcohol, caffeine consumption, spending).

Transition planning means preparing for each stage of aging before a life event occurs. Transitions may include

  • changing programs or services within a service provider
  • accessing services from a new service provider
  • preparing for other life altering changes

The stages of transition planning for aging individuals can be different for each one. The common element is to give individuals time to consider their options and tell you what they have decided.

Although transition planning usually is the responsibility of the parents or guardians, service providers need to discuss planning with individuals before the plans need to be enacted so that

  • Individuals can make their wishes known before aging disrupts their capacity to do so
  • Everyone is on the same page in regards to care

Service provider staff must be familiar with any transition plans that are being considered or are in place so that they can fulfill the individuals’ wishes as they pertain to service delivery.

In cases where individuals have court orders in place, the law supersedes freedom of personal control. Nevertheless, service providers still need to ensure that individuals are empowered as much as possible and are able to make choices within the limits of their court orders.