- Establish boundaries early in the relationship and have ongoing, open conversations about the extent of your role.
- Clearly tell the client when you are available and inform him or her of appropriate ways of communicating with you.
- Avoid justifying, rationalizing, apologizing, or feeling guilty for setting boundaries.
- Identify and refer the client to other social support resources as needed rather than trying to solve problems yourself.
- Be consistent with all clients.
- Remind clients that maintaining boundaries is important because:
- Staff must objectively understand and provide quality care for the needs of a client.
- It safeguards the welfare of the client and his or her confidentiality.
If a client violates personal boundaries:
- Request that he or she desists, and remind him or her of what is expected.
- Step out of the situation briefly, if needed.
- If a client violates boundaries repeatedly, report the behavior to a supervisor and discuss with your team how to handle it.
- If necessary, discontinue the relationship. This will involve either transferring the client to another navigator, or dismissing them from the STEPS to Care program. Discuss options for your specific situation with your supervisor and, if appropriate, the Program Director.