The professional boundaries policy lays out a detailed set of principles and values regarding professional boundaries that are required in relationships between the workers and service users. It aims to have an open and transparent culture in which everyone is clear about their roles and responsibilities along with the boundaries in which they carry out their work.
The first thing to do for developing your agency’s or company’s professional boundaries policy is to clearly define the physical and social boundaries and how each of these is related to the role of the staff the provides the services. Describe how boundaries impact the people who are receiving the services, the staff, as well as the overall environment. The purpose of this policy is to recognize the increased vulnerability of the people who are receiving services and their need for well-defined professional boundaries.
The next step is to restrict the contact between people who are receiving the services and the staff on social media and how to manage a certain situation when a customer or a client contacts staff on social media. The use of social media must also be restricted for personal purposes while at work and for discussing work on social media. The policy must also prohibit the staff from searching for information regarding any customer or client on social media.
To develop your professional boundaries policy, you must start emphasizing the use of management and team meeting to better understand staff strengths and weaknesses with the setting an maintaining healthy boundaries. It is always better to call for staff to seek out management support about concerns related to the boundaries. Agency training must be carried out for supervisors to develop skills necessary to coach and support staff development of professional boundaries.
You must provide clear guidance for staff on what to do when they start encountering boundary issues, and when and where to report any kind of observed boundary-crossing. Providing information about the resources for personal support such as an employee assistance program is a wise thing to do.
Some certain rules and limits prevent the lines that are drawn between the carer or a service provider from becoming blurred. This set of professional boundaries is generally set by legal, ethical and organizational authorities to maintain a safe working environment for both the client as well as the caring staff too. One of the examples of professional boundaries may include not discussing a client’s private health information with others. Other instances can be keeping work contact numbers separate from your contact numbers.
Being aware of your values helps you in figuring out where you would like to set the boundaries. In simple words, knowing your values first helps in making you capable to set up systems that help you achieve those needs.
Communicating is the best option if you want your limits to be followed by all. You must lay out your limits very clearly and make the staff understand properly about the limitations or the boundaries.
Once a boundary is violated, it is common for people to get upset about it and sulk about the situation that they have created and report about it a month or a week later. But this is just the opposite of what they should do, instead, it is important to reinforce and exercise the boundaries at the moment or close to it, or else, it loses its power.
You can create a structure and then establish a boundary. A structure may refer to have an agenda that is more efficient, and positions you as a professional. While setting an agenda, make sure you include a start and end time together with the topics to discuss. You can even create structures by having a meeting with the boss and the other teams and then have a healthy discussion regarding the boundaries.
It is wise choice to visualize your boundaries getting violated, and what measures did you take to handle those situations. Use your imagination and visualize processing your reaction and creating a plan of action accordingly.
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