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Family-centred planning focuses on supporting the family to meet their child's needs. Family-centred planning recognizes that parents are experts about the skills, abilities and needs of their child.
As a child reaches adulthood the planning process changes. Planning shifts from supporting the family to focusing on the young adult and their direct needs. This is called person-centred planning. The planning process respects and supports the person's right to understand all the choices available and to make their own decisions.
It is very common for young adults to continue to live in their parent's home for many years after reaching adulthood. While the primary focus of planning is on the person needing support, many programs continue to support families as part of a person-centred plan.
The age at which a child becomes an adult in Manitoba is 18. It is also called the age of majority. When a child reaches the age of 18, a parent’s role changes. It goes from making decisions on behalf of their child to helping their adult children make good decisions. Until a child reaches 18, parents or legal guardians have the authority to consent to the delivery of services and sharing of personal information on behalf of their child. At age 18, the right of consenting for services or sharing personal information shifts from the parent to the adult child.
Adult support services and programs value and respect parents’ continued role in supporting their adult children to make decisions in a person-centred way. This means supporting their child to make decisions that are in their child’s best interests while still respecting their right to make decisions for themselves.
In Manitoba, it is presumed that adults living with a mental disability have the capacity to make decisions affecting themselves, unless it is proven otherwise. The person’s support network plays a key role in helping decision-making and encouraging independence. Substitute decision making is only used as a last resort when the person is unable to make decisions by themselves or with the involvement of members of their support network. These and other protected rights of adults living with a mental disability are law in Manitoba, under The Vulnerable Persons Act.
For more information on The Vulnerable Persons Act and supported decision making, please see Services and programs for Adults or visit The Vulnerable Persons Act website at: www.gov.mb.ca/fs/pwd/what_is_vpa.html