Boundaries, ethical conduct and confidentiality
Some volunteer roles can involve close contact with clients through activities such as home visiting, counselling, support or friendship building.
Setting boundaries is extremely important, particularly in roles where a close relationship or bond can form. Boundaries help protect the volunteer and the client. It is particularly critical to give structure to the volunteer role and have clear boundaries where volunteers may be interacting with children or vulnerable adults.
Ethical behaviour in volunteering
Ethics refers to moral principles that govern a person’s behaviour or the conducting of an activity.
Your volunteer organisation may ask you to read, and sign, their policy on ethical or appropriate behaviours to ensure you understand their procedures.
If you have any questions or concerns about ethics within your volunteer organisation please contact your volunteer supervisor.
The volunteer organisation may ask you to sign a confidentiality agreement to protect their rights in regard to any confidential information you may come across during the course of your volunteering. This could include personal or medical information relating to clients and this information must be kept confidential at all times.
For more in-depth information about ethics, confidential information or boundaries please see the National volunteer guide here.