Person-Centered Planning Philosophy

All people should be independent and have as much control over their lives as possible. We consider it our responsibility to seek opportunities in which the persons served can participate as fully as possible in achieving their own dreams and desires. To this end, Meridian Services and people receiving services, together, develop individual plans of action to assist the person in reaching their dreams.

CARF Accredited

CARF is a national accreditation awarded to agencies that have met international quality standards for efficiency, effectiveness and consumer satisfaction. Meridian Services became CARF accredited originally in March 2003 and still maintains that accreditation. The team at Meridian is continually analyzing and enhancing processes and supports so that the program is managed using best practices.

Service Admission Criteria 

Initial Application

The following service admission criteria must be met upon initial application:

  • County case management referral
  • Wavered services funding, county funding or private pay
  • Other documentation as requested

    Acceptance Criteria

    The decision to accept individuals for service initiation will be based on the following criteria for all service types:

    • The agency has the ability to meet the needs of the consumer
    • The agency has the ability to meet the expectations of the interdisciplinary team
    • The information provided is adequate to develop a service plan

      Residential Services

      The decision to support individuals in residential services will include the following additional criteria:

      • Funding is adequate to ensure the staffing pattern to meet the person’s needs
      • The individual possesses interests and needs that are compatible with the other people in the home, as well as with the support structure of the home
      • If a decision is made to provide services, an intake meeting will be scheduled
      • When an individual seeking services is found incompatible based upon the above criteria, Meridian Services will inform the person, their legal representative and the case managers as to the reason for the decision

      Informed Choice

      Informed Choice is also known as Supported or Informed Decision Making. No matter what term is used, the definition is the same. Informed Choice or Supported Decision Making applies to any person exercising self-determination to make the best decision possible with adequate information within the context of life’s varied circumstances.

      Jonathan Martinis, Senior Director for Law and Policy at Syracuse University presented to the Department of Human Services (DHS) a heartfelt and comprehensive training on this topic.

      The decisions and choices that we make are a reflection of who we are as individuals. Outcomes of decisions—good and bad—help us learn and grow as individuals. Through involvement in decision making we can gain experience, confidence and knowledge which enrich our lives.

      As support professionals for people with disabilities, we are responsible for helping people with disabilities make informed choices. This means we provide the person with sufficient information, support and experiences to make informed choices that are meaningful to him/her and to balance and take responsibility for risks associated with choice.

      For example, if someone receiving services would like to color their hair, they have this right. As supporters, we might talk with the person about cost, whether or not there would be problems with their color choice at their place of work, what colors might take best to their hair, etc. If the person elects to move forward with coloring their hair, we would offer assistance with the process to assist with a nice final hair color.

      The MN Olmstead Plan supports the right for individuals with disabilities to choose where they live, work, learn and live their lives. Likewise, the federal centers for Medicare and Medicaid have recently passed down national rules requiring that people with disabilities have enough information to make informed choices about the type of services they receive.

      For more information about Informed Choice, please access the MN DHS Person-Centered, Informed Choice and Transition Protocol.

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