What does it mean to practice youth work ethically? How does ethical theory relate to the youth work profession? What are the moral dilemmas confronting youth workers today, and how should practitioners respond? Youth Work Ethics examines these questions and more and should be on the reading lists of all youth work trainees and practitioners. A wide range of topics are covered, including: confidentiality; sexual propriety; dependence and empowerment; equity of provision; interprofessional working; managing dual relationships; working across cultures; working within an agency.

Professional Boundaries and Dual Relationships1

Professional Boundaries and Dual Relationships1

Professional boundaries and dual relationships


Youth workers, like other professionals, need to be clear about their boundaries, both in terms of the way that their professional relationship is constructed and the extension of the relationship with a young person into private time and space. The disciplining of these boundaries has sometimes been referred to as ‘professional distance’. This chapter discusses whether distance is what this is about, or whether emotional connection is essential for youth work practice. The problems with dual relationships, where there is a multiplicity of roles, are also discussed.

The Limited Relationship

In Chapter 2, we described a professional relationship as intentionally limited. It is the limits of the relationship that define it, that create its quality, and that channel ...

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