Case Studies / Activities


As you will have seen from reading the chapter, person-centred planning tools involve a significant amount of discussion about the person. This in-depth detail is necessary to start to construct meaningful plans which actually reflect the goals and outcomes which service users want to achieve. When undertaken effectively service users should find the PCP process a positive experience. The MAPS approach involves discussion under eight key headings, one of which is gifts, strengths and talents. For this activity we want you to start to think about your own gifts, strengths and talents so you can experience for yourself what that part of the process is like.  

  • Get together with three or four other people who know you fairly well – other students on your social work programme would be ideal for this exercise as they should also have core knowledge of PCP and MAPS.
  • You will need paper and coloured pens or pencils to undertake this exercise.
  • Explain that you are going to focus on one aspect of the MAPS approach which relates to gifts, strengths and talents. If the other members of the group are not sure what ‘gifts’ are then you should advise that gifts are the aspects of a person which draw other people to them. Another way of thinking about this would be ‘qualities’ or ‘attributes’.
  • Everyone in the group (including you!) should spend some time thinking about what your gifts, strengths and talents are.
  • When everyone has had thinking time nominate one person to be the graphic scribe.
  • Take each aspect in turn and have each group member state what they believe your gifts, strengths and talents are. You should go last to add in anything that you think the others have missed. The person undertaking graphic recording will hopefully be able to produce these in some kind of creative format.
  • You might want to undertake this exercise with each member of the group and then spend some time reflecting together what you learned from the exercise. For example, what is it like having other people state aloud your gifts, strengths and talents? Did any of the comments surprise you? Were there things that people missed out? How did those omissions make you feel? How might this experience assist you to empathise with a service user?