Online Training

Violation of professional boundaries

Signs of boundary violations

The violation of professional boundaries usually occurs when an employee forgets they are not in a personal relationship with a client, but rather are assigned a professional role to play in supporting change with a person, family or community. Maintaining professional boundaries can be difficult sometimes, however empowerment and change is best achieved for the client when the balance of a personal and professional role is managed.

Whilst in isolation none of these behaviours may indicate a potential boundary violation is happening, they can be an indicator of a potential problem.

  • Developing strong feelings for the client
  • Spending more time with this client over others
  • Having personal conversations with the client
  • Receiving calls at home from the client
  • Receiving gifts
  • Doing things for a client rather than enabling the client to do it for themselves
  • Believing only they can offer the right services, or they know the client best
  • Physically touching the client


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