Boundaries and Dual Relationships for Paraprofessionals

Boundaries and Dual Relationships for Paraprofessionals 

As a behavioral health paraprofessional, you may find yourself in situations where you or the people you work with may blur the professional boundary (a line between client and staff in their working relationship), particularly by engaging in some form of a dual relationship (a professional relationship plus another type of relationship with the client). In some cases, this “crossing of the boundary” may strengthen the relationship and help you work more effectively with your clients. However, sometimes a dual relationship can be dangerous for you and the people you support. For this reason, it is important for you to be aware of these risks, avoid them and know when to step back and ask a supervisor for help in managing the situation. This course focuses on exploring the concepts of boundaries and dual relationships—a form of boundary crossing. You will learn about what to look for to avoid issues that could harm you or your clients. You will learn how to make sure the relationship between you and your clients remains professional.


Hours: 2.25


Certificates provided by accrediting body (3 Match)

Non-Licensed Direct Care (DSP, HHA, CNA, DCW, PCA, IHA, NA)

2.25 HOURS

Georgia Paraprofessionals

2.25 HOURS

National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals

2.25 HOURS

This activity is approved for 2.25 contact hours.

Course Details

Course Code: REL-HHS-0-BDRPP
Hours: 2.25
Type: Online Course
Content Expiration Date: 9/30/2020
Learning Objectives:
Define the meaning of professional boundaries, boundary crossings, and boundary violations.
Define and describe the various forms of dual relationships.
Identify ethical considerations related to dual relationships and other boundary situations.
Identify and avoid the red flags of professional boundary violations.

Section 1: Introduction A. About This Course B. Learning Objectives Section 2: What is a Professional Boundary? A. What is a Professional Boundary? B. Test Yourself C. Social Relationships D. Professional Relationships E. Boundary Crossings F. Boundary Violations G. Flexible Boundaries H. Meet Katie I. Section Summary Section 3: Dual Relationships A. The Role of Staff B. Contexts of Dual Relationships C. Differentiating Dual Relationships D. Rethinking the “Slippery Slope” E. Risks Associated with Dual Relationships F. Potential Consequences for Paraprofessionals and Other Staff Members G. Sexual Dual Relationships H. Sexual Exploitation I. Situations that Don’t Constitute Harmful Dual Relationships J. The Don’ts of Dual Relationships K. Test Yourself! L. Importance of Self-Care M. Managing Dual Relationships N. Let’s Practice! O. Section Summary Section 4: Common Boundary Situations A. Common Boundary Situations B. Boundaries with Unavoidable Encounters C. Boundaries with Transference D. A Note of Caution E. Boundaries with Physical Contact F. Boundaries with Self-Disclosure G. More on Self-Disclosure H. Boundaries with Scheduling and Location of Services I. Boundaries with Social Media J. Let’s Practice! K. Boundaries with Gifts and Services L. Acceptable Responses M. Declining Gifts N. Boundaries with Language O. Using People-First Language P. Boundaries with Finances Q. Danger Signals R. Do Any of These Situations Sound Familiar? S. Self-Assessment T. Let’s Practice! U. Section Summary Section 5: Conclusion A. Summary B. Congratulations

Staff Writer: Kevin Fawcett, Ph.D.
Dr. Kevin Fawcett is a clinical psychologist in San Diego, CA. Dr. Fawcett runs a private practice where he provides therapeutic services for individual adolescents and adults, couples, as well as families. He also serves as an Adjunct Professor at Point Loma Nazarene University (PLNU), teaching courses on the psychology of personal development. He received his Master’s and Doctoral degrees in Clinical Psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant International University, San Diego (2009). His clinical training involved work at the Chadwick Center for Children and Families at Children’s Hospital San Diego and the Clinical Services program at Catholic Charities, San Diego. He later completed his post-doctoral training working with college students in the Wellness Center at PLNU. Disclosure: Kevin Fawcett, Ph.D. has declared that no conflict of interest, Relevant Financial Relationship or Relevant Non-Financial Relationship exists.
Target Audience:
The target audience for this course is: Advanced, Entry, Intermediate level Direct Support Professionals; in the following settings: Health and Human Services.
Relias will be transparent in disclosing if any commercial support, sponsorship or co-providership is present prior to the learner completing the course.
Course Delivery Method and Format
Asynchronous/Online Distance Learning; please see certificate details for specifics on delivery format.
Relias has a grievance policy in place to facilitate reports of dissatisfaction. Relias will make every effort to resolve each grievance in a mutually satisfactory manner. In order to report a complaint or grievance please contact Relias.
If you require special accommodations to complete this module, please contact Relias Support by completing the web form ( or by using the chat functionality.
All courses offered by Relias, LLC are developed from a foundation of diversity, inclusiveness, and a multicultural perspective. Knowledge, values and awareness related to cultural competency are infused throughout the course content.
Reference herein to any specific commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, service mark, manufacturer or otherwise does not constitute or imply any endorsement, recommendation, or favoring of, or affiliation with, Relias, LLC.
All characteristics and organizations referenced in the following training are fictional. Any resemblance to any actual organizations or persons living or dead, is purely coincidental.
To earn continuing education credit for this course you must achieve a passing score of 80% on the post-test and complete the course evaluation.
If you require special accommodations to complete this module, please contact Relias Customer Support here.