Our Family

The difference between family-centered care and person-centered care is something that families need to be aware of.

Family-centered care in when the professionals and peer counselors consider the family to be the client and include the family in their care plans. They consult with the family. They consider what is best for the family. And they partner with the family.

In person-centered care, the focus is on the identified client, the so-identified consumer of services. The professionals and peer counselors exclude everyone except the identified client in their care plans. They consult with the individual. They consider, with the individual, what is best . And they partner with their client.

Person-centered care makes sense when there are no family members or caretakers to include in the team. Person-centered care is especially helpful and appropriate when an individual seeks out therapy for their own issues.

Family-centered care makes sense when a family is uprooted by the mental illness of a family member. The whole family is affected and needs assistance in re-balancing itself. Never mind that the research consistently informs us that when families are involved, and partnered with the team, the outcomes are far better for individuals with serious mental illnesses.

I have a loved one living in a group home. Through a change in staff, the partnership between our family and the group home shifted. There was a change from family-centered care to person-centered care. As a result, my loved one asked me about the new goals she had and how they would be implemented. This was news to me! Needless to say, I was quite taken aback and advocated in order to return to family-centered care. Fortunately, the supervisor was able to confirm that with my loved one, this is the approach that is “best practices.” While she is the only one in the setting with involved family, “person-centered” makes sense for the other residents.

So, dear family members and caretakers, use the term, “family-centered care” when partnering with staff, providers, and other professionals involved in your loved one’s care.

Grow a Strong Family uses a family-centered approach.