Empower Person Centered Planning/Independent Facilitator

Self Determination will be available to all Regional Center Clients by June 2021.

Whether you have been accepted into the Self Determination Program or are Preparing to Enter in Summer 2021 and are in need a Person Centered Plan please schedule a free one hour free consultation with no obligation at calendly.com/empowerpcp


Click Here to Read Testimonials from Empower’s Clients

About Empower’s Team:

We are mothers of adults with Down Syndrome who have navigated the Regional Centers for many years. We serve clients all over California Virtually.  Our Mission is to Empower YOU to live boldly, and to be confident in controlling YOUR life; to decide where YOU want to live, work and play. Our job is to help you to discover your dreams and aspirations to create a Person-Centered Plan to help YOU achieve those dreams, and along with your team, discover the supports needed to help you live your best life.

To learn more about each of us and how to contact us click on our names below:

 Sandra McElwee          

Jan Opsvig


YOUR hopes and dreams for the future

Where YOU want to live

Who YOU Want to spend time with

How you want to spend your time 

Included in Empower’s Services


The purpose of pre-planning is to allow Empower’s Facilitator to get to know YOU and YOUR circle of support in order to plan and facilitate a meaningful, efficient, and person-centered plan gathering. Empower’s Facilitator supports YOU to decide what topics are important to discuss at YOUR meeting and who YOU would like to invite. Pre-planning activities are based on Person Centered Thinking, and may include meetings at the home, observations of places or activities important to YOU, conversations with family and other important people in YOUR life, and document review.

Pre-planning should reveal

  • Who is in YOUR life
  • What is important To and For YOU
  • What YOU like (preferences) and dislike
  • YOUR strengths and talents
  • What YOUR life is like today
  • YOUR  hopes, dreams, and goals
  • How YOU communicate
  • YOUR history
  • What’s working/what’s not working
  •  Barriers or things that could prevent YOU from achieving YOUR hopes, dreams, goals
  • Support needs
  • A meeting to prep YOU about what the Person-Centered-Gathering will look like

Estimated Time: 6-10 hours

Person-Centered Planning Gathering

Who should be involved: It’s up to you to select the people YOU trust to invite to your gathering. Suggestions Include: Family members, friends, representatives from the community, agencies, schools, or service providers, coaches, co-workers, anybody who cares about YOU.

At the meeting, the team listens to YOUR hopes and dreams for the future and agrees to help and support YOU along the way. YOUR team is invited to share their input and ideas, and Empower’s facilitator helps the group develop an action plan for how they can help make YOUR vision a reality. The outcome of the a set of ideas and commitments Empower’s Facilitator will then translate into a written action plan.

Time: 4-6 hours (can be broken into multiple sessions)

Plan Creation (Report)

The facilitator from Empower will take all of the information shared during the Person-Centered Planning process and create an action plan so everybody knows what to do and when to do it. Empower’s facilitator will deliver a first draft of the written Person-Centered Plan within two weeks of the Gathering.

Time: 4 hours

Revision and Review

Empower’s Facilitator collaborates with YOU (and your circle of support) to review and revise the Report document to YOUR satisfaction.

Time: 2-4 hours

Support at YOUR Individual Program Plan (IPP) Meeting

Empower’s Facilitator will be available to attend the IPP meeting and assist the Client in presenting their goals.

Time: 2-4 Hours

Assistance with Your Spending Plan

Once the budget is certified Empower’s Facilitator will assist the Client in developing the Spending Plan with the services and supports necessary to achieve the goals in the Person-Centered Plan. The Spending Plan will then be provided to the FMS for any final edits required.



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