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People with disabilities re-write the rule book

Walsingham Support have become the first organisation in their sector to implement a policy conceived and written by individuals they support.

The professional boundaries policy is a guide for the charity’s staff on building and maintaining professional relationships with the people they support, a first of its kind in the social care sector. The policy addresses a wide variety of issues that individuals supported by the charity felt needed to be clarified such as the use of social media, communication and physical boundaries.

Lou, one of the individuals who created the policy, said: 

“Boundaries mean different things to different people regardless of whether they have a disability or not. Some people like physical contact i.e. hugs and some don’t.”

The policy, which took over a year to develop, will benefit both staff and individuals supported by the charity as it delivers clear and agreed boundaries for both parties to work within. It will be particularly beneficial for those who are unable to communicate as a basis for forming relationships with their support workers.

Sarah Miller, Deputy Chief Executive of Walsingham Support, praised the policy saying:

“This is an amazing piece of work which we are proud to implement. As a charity we strive to support people to raise their own issues and take action, the professional boundaries policy is a direct result of this. We hope that this will act as a catalyst for more policies to follow, not only within our organisation but in the sector as a whole.”