'I will ask you to respect my privacy, respect my decision and just respect my right to be myself.'

Boundaries are essential to the safe running of an open access drop-in, yet they can prove especially challenging in a social environment where friendly conversation is the order of the day. It can be a thin line to walk sometimes, and to do it well requires not only practice, but an understanding of the both the self and the service. This workshop looks at boundaries from both a personal a professional perspective . . . .

  • What are my personal boundaries and how do they fit into my role?
  • What are the professional boundaries required of me, and do they clash with some of my personal boundaries?
  • What information can I share about myself, and what should I keep private?
  • Is it alright to talk about my own experiences of substance use, and what are the risks?
  • Is is alright to be hugged by a service user?
  • What do I do when I feel that my personal boundaries are being breached?

Confidentiality can bring it's own difficulties for volunteers, especially if they have recently been in treatment and are moving from seeing things from the perspective of a client to that of a worker. There is a saying that is often used in support groups, which says 'What's said in the room stays in the room.' Is this true of an open access drop-in . . . 

  • If what a service user says to me is confidential, is the reverse also true?
  • Is confidentiality absolute, and if not, why not?
  • What do I do if  think people are gossiping about an individual?
  • What do I do if I hear something that troubles me?
  • What are the reasons for breaking confidentiality?
  • If confidentiality has to be broken, what happens next?
  • What is the relationship between boundaries and confidentiality?

This workshop is a precursor to the safeguarding workshop, and is designed to give staff and volunteers a clear understanding of the basic ground rules for working in an open access drop-in that allows them to feel safe and confident in their work.