Staff Relationships with Young People

The unit believes that the basis of good practice is rooted in the relationships developed between the adults and young people and that adults should be pro-active at displaying their own trustworthiness and reliability in order that young people develop such traits.

We endeavour to create an environment that offers sense of care and safety.  This is a complex task that is challenged on a daily basis by group living and the experiences undertaken with the young people.  Clear communication is the foundation of these relationships accompanied by sound role modelling in respect of negotiating through difficulties.  Adults will make themselves available to talk with the young person about issues concerning the young person and attempt to create an environment that is open and empowering.

Key Points

The relationship between adult and young person will be grounded in the professional task and at no time be intimate.  Adults will show respect at all times; in their demeanour, language and methods of approaching the young person.

Touch is an important method of communication and comfort, but many of the young people we care for may have experienced abusive forms of touch thus workers must be aware at all times about their use of touch and what it means to each young person.  Adults must take the responsibility of checking out explicitly whether a young person finds touch acceptable and be prepared to discuss openly the boundaries, (both for the adult and young person).

No form of sexual touching is acceptable.

Personal Care Plans, Changeovers, Team Meetings and Supervision will be used to monitor these issues and the environment will be one where all workers will feel comfortable about challenging one another.  There is an expectation that any member of staff or young person will approach the  Manager should they have concerns and the Manager must actively make themselves available for open discussions.  If the concern is related to the Manager the Service Manager will be available to listen to concerns and contact should be made as soon as possible.


If concerns are of a child protection nature then child protection procedures must be followed.

There must be no contact with a young person out of working hours unless this is detailed in a personal care plan and with the Managers and Social Worker's knowledge and consent.

There must be no contact with a young person once they have left the unit, unless this is detailed in a personal care plan as after care support. This must only be undertaken with the Manager's and Social Workers consent.

When staff work with young people and young people, particularly in confined circumstances or over a long period of time, they will develop close working relationships and young people will come to depend on staff and share personal information about themselves

It is important that all staff ensure that they keep within acceptable boundaries and do not share some personal information with young people i.e.