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April 02 , 2008

Professional Boundaries in Social Work and Social Care

A Practical Guide to Understanding, Maintaining and Managing Your Professional Boundaries


Professional boundaries between worker and client underpin all areas of practice in social work and social care, and the mismanagement of these boundaries can lead to unprofessional conduct and negative consequences for both worker and client. This book is a no-nonsense guide to boundaries – what they are, why they are there and how to maintain them, from legal boundaries and policies governing behaviour to rules surrounding confidentiality. Presenting a flexible framework of rules and guidelines which can be applied to any client relationship, the book offers practical advice and suggestions on how to judge boundaries and how to manage a situation when they have been crossed. It also explores the benefit to both worker and client of establishing a good rapport whilst maintaining a professional, emotional distance. Throughout the book, and in the self-assessment test provided, the reader is invited to examine his or her personal responses to working with clients and their effect on maintaining professional boundaries. This simple and practical reference guide will be of essential use to professionals in social work and social care working with or managing support for clients.

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