Rules for Everyone Are Not Very Person Centered!

April 05, 2019

We are reminded almost daily that we are becoming more data driven and, therefore, more rule based.  Rules either determine the structure of something which can then produce consistency in the data elements or they set the goal for what the data is expected to show.  In “human services,” there is an inherent conflict between the “human” and the “services” – the type, amount, cost or perceived quality of the services.

The “human” side frequently involves process and we are expected to:

  • plan for services in a person centered way,

  • allow choice,

  • respect preferences,

  • allow each individual to set his own schedule,

  • assess needs and meet those needs,

  • support recovery, and

  • foster relationships, etc.


The “services” side is more outcome oriented and we are expected to:

  • ensure that if an individual is opting for a “more restrictive/larger” residence an RST referral is made in a timely manner,

  • increase the number of individuals (18-65) on the Waiver in Supported Employment each quarter until the goal of 25% is reached,

  • meet the predetermined goal of service cost based on the individual’s residence and SIS level even if the individual has to “choose” less integrated services because they cost less


We can not dispute that data is important to show, in the aggregate, that you are achieving goals – perhaps we should examine the “goals” and decide if they are the ones important to the “humans” we support.