Professional Boundaries, Safeguarding and Inclusion

The Coalition Government has recently published Protection of Freedoms Bill. Part of this Bill aims to ‘review the criminal records and vetting and barring regime and scale it back to common sense levels’.

At NDTi, we have been exploring these challenging issues. We begin with an acknowledgement that the lives of people using services and staff can overlap when:

  • People live near one another as neighbours
  • A person using the service is also a co-worker or a governor of the Foundation Trust where the staff member works
  • People using services are encouraged to participate in the same leisure activities and groups in the community that staff belong to
  • People who use services, staff and members of the general public collaborate together in a Timebank or community choir.

There are many more situations in which we all live in ‘overlapping worlds’.

  • As a first step, NDTi have developed the ‘Boundaries Clock' as a tool to aid ethical decision-making. You can read more about this in Chapter 2 of "The Social Work and Mental Health - The Value of Everything". Flyer for this book is available for download on the right site of this page under the related downloads.
  • Step Two of the project is to co-produce a series of papers showing how the Boundaries Clock has been used in a particular situation. You can download five of these papers on the right of this webpage and find out how Timebanks, a Community Circle, L'Arche, Chaplaincy and Peer Volunteers have used the Boundaries Clock to review their own practice. Please note that NDTi staff have not visted or audited these projects. If you would like to use the Boundaries Clock to take a rigorous and systematic look at something you do, then please contact Peter Bates.
  • Step Three of the project is to offer training sessions to local teams to assist them in becoming familiar with using the Boundaries Clock as a tool for ethical decision-making in their own service. Contact  Peter Bates for further information.
  • Step 4 of the project is to use the Boundaries Clock as an audit tool to examine the adequacy of the policies and guidance issued by employers, professional bodies and regulatory and inspection agencies. It is anticipated that this will lead to policy and practice being influenced to improve the coherence of safeguarding boundary and inclusion agendas.

Related Downloads


For more information contact Peter Bates

Contact Info

Contact our Head Office

National Development Team for Inclusion
First Floor
30-32 Westgate Buildings

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