In the course of work that a Project Transitions caregiver does, intimate professional relationships with program residents often develop. Due to the intensity of the work, these relationships may be highly valued by all parties involved and difficult to resolve when the relationship changes.
These changes may take the form of: termination of work as a caregiver; the caregiver changing the program they are working with; the resident leaving the program; the resident transferring to another Project Transitions program; and /or death of the resident with relationships with family members and friends remaining.
It is Project Transitions’ policy to acknowledge the high value that is placed on relationships within the agency and, therefore, to create a framework within which caregivers and residents can safely maintain the emotional and physical boundaries that are needed for the resident’s and family’s best interests.
When a term of work is nearing completion, or when a resident transition is occurring, it is the caregiver’s responsibility to do one of the following:
1) Stop all contact with the resident and any related family members or friends once the transition has occurred. In this circumstance, Project Transitions strongly supports and encourages that closure take place through the process of saying good-bye in whatever way is appropriate.
2) Discuss with the Program Coordinator the possibility of continuing to see the resident and/or related family members and friends. If a decision is made that it would be in the resident’s or family’s best interests to continue the relationship, an agreement about the conditions of the relationship will be created. It will include ongoing contact with the Program Coordinator and the continuation of all professional responsibilities and boundaries as agreed to in the staff/volunteer orientation and/or employment contract.
This agreement is written to ensure the emotional health and safety of the resident. Residents are likely to continue to view the caregiver as a professional in regard to providing support and resources. In addition, the caregiver agrees to continue to uphold all agency standards, including program rules and regulations and report any violations that occur in order to ensure that the resident can safely remain in the program.
If these standards are not upheld, Project Transitions will take steps to end any relationship that may be occurring to protect the confidentiality and emotional and physical health of the resident involved.