The Independent Options Children and Family Centre recently held two events to introduce families to person-centred approaches for their children.  The events aimed to bring children with additional needs and their families together to share experiences and gain information that will enhance their family life.  The events were based on the Celebrating Families Toolkit, which was developed as part of a one-year partnership between Helen Sanderson Associates and MacIntyre, an organisation working with people who have learning disabilities.  Using the principles of person-centred thinking, the toolkit offers a practical guide for parents so that they can appreciate each individual within the family and find ways of navigating through life, especially during periods of transition. The events at the Children and Family Centre were facilitated by Centre staff, Katy Priest (Play Worker) and Rifath Khan (Family Support Worker), along with Rachel Roberts from the Aspirations for Life Project and Susan Camps who has had a lead role in the production of the Celebrating Families Toolkit. The first event enabled whole families to participate in activities that were designed to help them think about important things in their lives. One activity involved making a ‘person-centred flower’.  Each family wrote on the petals of their flower the things that are important to them, things they enjoy doing as a family and the names of other people who are important in their family. On the leaves they wrote different ways they could do the things they enjoy and the ways they can show each other how important they are.  The children also made outfits to express their ideas about their dreams for their future and their families then looked at how they could help their children achieve their aspirations. The second event was an evening for parents to talk more about person-centred planning and start to think about the future in a positive way.  Children and Family Centre Manager Nicky Jones said “These were great events and I think the activities and discussions enabled both parents and children to get in touch with things they had forgotten and express things that were really important to them.” ‘Celebrating Families’ comes to Independent Options