Friendships with caregivers

I’m not a parent, I’m a caregiver (carer) in the US, and wanted to get opinions from parents in other places. I recently moved from Texas to Washington State (not DC), and was a care provider in both places. The mentalities are so different in these two states. In Texas, care providers were allowed to have friendships with the clients, and treat the clients like family. However, it was common to see even adult clients referred to as “kids”, and treated as such. Conversations about “adult subjects” was discouraged. Now that I’m in Washington, the clients are treated like adults, with all the freedoms that implies, but caregivers are expected to keep an emotional distance from the clients, and be “a friendly person, but not a personal friend” (a direct quote from the state’s training manual). In Texas I felt that it was wrong to baby our clients. Here I feel like the policies encourage rejection and exclusion. I wonder what balance the parents in this group would want for their children. Do you prefer caregivers that are genuine, and open to platonic friendships, or those that merely attend to skills gaps, and nothing else?

Hi Shannon, I'm Angie, Megans Mum. From our experience we have always valued support for Megan that is age appropriate but with an awareness of her vulnerability. She has a very good relationship with her support staff and has a good social life with them. There have been staff changes over the years (thankfully not many) and she has accepted these, but I wonder what her reaction would be if she'd had a very strong 'family' bond with them? So in answer to your question yes I would prefer support workers that are genuine and open to platonic friendship, but with an awareness of the right relationships between them and their client.

Thanks for the reply Angie! It sounds like you know the value of a friendly bond between your daughter and her support workers, but want there to be healthy boundaries. Healthy and respectful boundaries seems to be the sticking point here in Washington, employers seem concerned that employees might not always establish those boundaries as they should.