Personal/ Professional Boundaries  

Professional Boundaries


As part of the Active team, you are a key member of our organisation. It is through your commitment and expertise that our Clients can live their lives with the maximum of dignity and independence. We would like you to have the freedom to respond to the wishes of Clients. However, it is important always to recognise that you have a professional relationship with Clients and it is always best to check out new or unusual requests with your supervisor or manager.


How a Working Relationship differs from a Personal one


In your capacity as Support Worker, you have to negotiate a delicate balance between being supportive to the Client and their family members, and the professional context in which you work. You should always be aware that you are a paid worker, not a friend and your relationship is a professional one, not personal. It will be important for you as an individual worker to be able to discern when you may be crossing the boundary of professional good practice.


The worker/ client relationship needs to be understood by all parties so that everyone is clear about the limits and boundaries that need to be maintained.


  • Some clients find differentiating between a worker and a friend difficult to understand, it is important to understand the nature of your relationship and it’s scope from the first time you have contact with a client. You will need to be honest about your limitations and the boundaries which you must not cross.
  • Staff are asked at Supervision if they have any issues regarding personal/ professional boundaries and will be offered support to deal with these appropriately and sensitively.

Use to answer question 1.3b of the Care Certificate


When you are out on a call, you must remember that you are a guest in a Client’s home. When visiting the Client, ensure you do the following:

  • Always ask how he/she wants to be addressed, i.e. Christian name, Mr, Mrs, etc.;
  • Always knock or ring the doorbell and speak out before entering the person’s home;
  • When caring for Clients, respecting their privacy and wishes is essential. Clients expect their staff to arrive on time, to be reliable, and to respond flexibly to their needs and preferences;
  • Do not take unauthorised person’s into the Client’s home i.e. children, friends, pets, etc.;
  • Do not visit Clients outside of their contracted working hours;
  • A Client’s telephone should never be used for personal calls;
  • If you give out your personal number, you take responsibility for this. As a general rule it is advisable not to give your personal number to clients; all messages can be relayed through the office. Do not contact clients for social reasons outside of work.
  • Do not give a client or their family/ carer yours or a colleagues address, telephone number or email details
  • Do not buy, sell or lend items or money to Clients or their families
  • Do not discuss your own personal problems including work-related issues or information relating to other Clients or colleagues
  • Do not add Clients or their family members to Facebook or similar social media sites
  • Do not accept a gift from a client or the family/ carer
  • Do not do an errand for a client or their family/ carer in your own time
  • Never promise a client that you will keep a secret about something that compromises someone’s safety either in the past, present or future
  • Do not agree to be the Executor or beneficiary in a clients Will.
  • Do not agree to be a bridesmaid or best man at their wedding
  • Do not try to convert a client to your religion or suggest a place of worship
  • If someone has full mental capacity to make a decision but you and/ or the carers think it is unwise, you still need to respect and support their decision
  • Never discuss a clients circumstances in front of or within earshot of another client or someone who does not need to know that information
  • Never engage in a sexual relationship with a client

Use to answer question 1.3b of the Care Certificate

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