A note on Terminology:
Professional boundaries define the effective and appropriate interaction between professionals and the public they serve. These Boundaries exist to protect both the professional and the client.
The purpose of this written piece is for me to develop an understanding of what is professional boundaries are as well as understand the importance of maintaining professional boundaries as a student social worker in relation to HCPC code of conduct.
As a social work student on placement I would have to build relationships with a number of people such as managers, staffs and volunteers who are vulnerable thus it is important for me to know how to set professional boundaries.
Setting professional boundaries will help to improve interactions between me and everyone I am in contact with during my placement as well as for the future. Professional boundaries provide clarity about what is acceptable and unacceptable for me both at my placement and outside.
I think it is important for me to understand that being friendly and supportive to a service user is not the same as being a friend. This means I have to be aware of the information I share with service users. For example talking about private matters that has nothing to do with the service user can be misinterpreted by service users.
I understand that I should not accept or give gifts to service users as this can be open to abuse, exploitation and other service users could accuse me of favoritism.
Keeping a healthy professional boundary is essential for me as it helps avoid a situation where I disclose too much about myself or behave in an unethical manner. It also helps me to focus on the work I am doing with client and ensures that I do not overstep my duties to offering personal advice or treating a service user as a friend.
There are consequences for poor boundaries such as :-
Not providing appropriate care to the service user
Bridging boundaries might lead to oppressive practice where I become judgmental towards clients or missing objectives on the service user’s needs
To maintain a good and acceptable practice I have to adhere to confidentiality and be aware of the kind