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Professional boundaries between caregiver and client (07HDC10991)
Download Professional boundaries between caregiver and client (07HDC10991) (PDF 139Kb)
(07HDC10991, 23 November 2007)
Disability service provider ~ Caregiver ~ Professional
boundaries ~ Complaints process ~ Standards ~ Documentation ~
Rights 4(2), 4(4), 10(3)
A complaint was received about the appropriateness of the
relationship between a caregiver and his client. The caregiver was
employed by a disability services provider of home-based support
The caregiver stated that he and his client had had brief sexual
relationship prior to him becoming her carer, but not from that
point on. He assisted the woman to smoke marijuana, and they drank
alcohol together, but he stated that this was after his "shift" had
The disability service provider appeared to have been aware that
there was a suspicion of an improper relationship. At least two
complaints were made about the relationship and drug-taking, but
there was no evidence of any action being taken.
It was held that the disability service provider breached Right
4(4), as it failed to ensure that the woman was provided with
services that minimised potential harm, and optimised the quality
of life. As the disability service provider failed to facilitate
the fair, simple, speedy, and efficient resolution of complaints
made about the caregiver, it also breached Right 10(3).
It was also held that by having an inappropriate relationship
with his client, the caregiver failed to provide services that
complied with ethical standards, and therefore breached Right 4(2).
He was referred to the Director of Proceedings, who considered the
matter and decided not to issue any proceedings, taking into
account the consumer's wish that proceedings not be brought.