Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


Social work with the homeless, Social work with youth, Homeless youth-Counseling of, Social service-Moral and ethical aspects, Social workers-Professional ethics, Psychotherapist and patient, Psychotherapy-Moral and ethical aspects, Psychotherapists-Professional ethics, Boundaries, Therapeutic relationships


This research will explore the experiences of 33 service providers working with homeless youth. Specifically, the research will examine the boundaries constructed by the service providers in their treatment relationships with homeless youth. Homeless youth are a unique group of people. They face a combination of obstacles in front of them at a time of life that is challenging and often after years of abuse, neglect, or family chaos. Service providers who work with these youth are asked to play many roles in the youths' lives such as teacher, counselor, parental surrogate, coach, disciplinarian, etc. The aim of this research is to explore the boundaries that are constructed around the unique relationships that are formed between service provider and youth. A survey was developed specifically for this research that includes demographic data, four questions and 43 items and four open-ended questions. The major findings of this study were that boundary behaviors in this sample are very consistent, clear, and well established. There is some variance in boundary behavior based on job title and amount of time in the field.




iv, 61 p. Thesis (M.S.W.)--Smith College School for Social Work, Northampton, Mass., 2009. Includes bibliographical references (p. 45-47)