Planning and Facilitation

Person-Directed Planning and Independent Facilitation is the core of our work.

Through Planning and Facilitation, we support people and their families to build on their abilities, and create the life they want in the community.

Our Planning and Facilitation is not one-size-fits-all. Instead of a menu of services, we get to know each individual and family that we work with, to understand their unique gifts, strengths, dreams, and challenges. We then work with them to develop a plan for the life they want to live, and support them to take action on that plan.

Person-Directed Planning

Planning is something we all do. We think about what is important in our lives, we talk to others we trust, and plan steps towards the life we dream.

Person-Directed Planning is just that – a person has the opportunity and support to think about and decide what is important to them. Most often, this includes a person’s family and others who are important in their lives. Our role at Bridges to Belonging is to guide the process of planning, but not direct it. Independent facilitators who guide the process believe:

  • People make decisions about their own lives.
  • Family and friends of the person are important and are listened to.
  • A person’s community is the first place to look for anything they need to build a good life.
  • Everybody has dreams, strengths and gifts.
  • People need people.
  • Planning includes action.

Independent Facilitation


Bridges to Belonging offers independent facilitation to support person-directed planning, relationship development, social inclusion and community participation and contribution.

The role of independent facilitators is to guide the process, but not direct it. As independent facilitators, we are accountable to the person and their network.

Independent Facilitators:

  • Focus and receive direction from the person supported by their family
  • Listen deeply and guide the planning process at the pace that is right for the person and their family
  • Guide the entire process of visioning, planning, identifying community-based assets, relationship building, support network development and goal achievement.
  • Walk with the person as they take action on their plan

Common Goals:

Being person-directed means that we take our cues from the individual – or as one of our facilitators calls them, “the boss”. Our job is to uncover the hopes and dreams of the individual, honour them, and help turn them into goals with actionable steps. facile6

Common areas we are asked to help with include:

  • Making and retaining friendships
  • Getting involved with groups and recreation in the community
  • Finding meaningful volunteer and/or paid work
  • Planning for future housing needs
  • …and whatever else comes up.


facile5Bridges to Belonging began providing Person-Directed Planning and Independent Facilitation in Waterloo Region with a focus on people with developmental disabilities. We believe that planning and facilitation can be useful tools and experiences for anyone wanting to plan for and build the life they want to live. This includes people with physical disabilities, mental health challenges, acquired brain-injuries, or anyone experiencing a transition in life, such as youth or seniors planning for their future. Remember, our work is individualized to you.

If you think you may benefit from planning or facilitation, we encourage you to get in touch. We offer Planning and Facilitation on a fee-for-service basis. Typically people fund this work through Passport Funding or other individualized funding. Subsidies for those requiring assistance may be available.

People can ask for Independent Facilitation and Planning support for themselves, their family member, or for someone they know by getting in touch with us.