A multiple relationship exists when a behavior analyst is simultaneously in two relationships, for example serving a child client while also friends with the family; the concern is that when it comes time to make professional decisions about the child the behavior analyst may take into account that they are friends with the parents and thus not make a decision that puts the child’s interests first.
Q. a) If a BCaBA supervisor develops a romantic attraction to one of his RBTs and they begin dating is this a problem?
A. Yes, this is a Code Violation.
Q. b) Is it a violation if the BCBA owner of a small ABA company is supervising her daughter who is working on her RBT supervision hours?
A. Yes, this is a Code Violation.
Q. c) A RBT is working for a family, and becomes quite close to them, is invited on a family vacation and takes them up on the offer, is this a violation?
A. Yes, another Code Violation.
Q. d) When a BCBA working is in a school district, is invited to a Teacher Appreciation Day event and is offered gifts from parents, and the BCBA politely declines indicating this is a violation of her Code of Ethics is this just rude?
A. This was a good decision handled properly, no Code problems here.
Q. e) I know of an employee of an ABA company who just learned that her son has been diagnosed with ASD and approached the clinical director to find out about having him treated at her place of employment, is this a problem?
A. This would be a Code Violation since any behavior analyst working with the child would be entering into a multiple relationship: Code Violation.
Q. f) A BCBA has a child on the spectrum and wants to know if she can use ABA with him at home (not for pay)?
A. No Code Violation, the BCBA is operating as a well trained parent.
Q. g) Is there a difference between a dual-relationship and a multiple relationship?
A. No, not really, dual means two relationships such as BCBA/ friend, multiple would be company owner/BCBA/relative/friend.
Q. h) What as accepting a gift got to do with multiple relationships?
A. Accepting a gift is the beginning (some call it a “slippery slope”) of a “friends” relationship where people do favors for one another, share gossip, and give each other support. The Code insists on a “No Gifts” policy which includes no sharing meals with the family, not attending birthday parties and of course not accepting gifts or food of any value. One exception is a handmade card from a child client, which has no street value.
Q. i) What if BCBA becomes attracted to the mother of the child he is seeing? To avoid a multiple relationship, he declares his interest and transfers the case, promptly asking the individual on a date.
A. This is a Code Violation: two-year rule.
Q. j) I know a BCBA who works with a client and is also the baseball coach of the client, is this a violation?
A. Yes the BCBA is both therapist/ coach to the client, a clear dual-relationship and disallowed by the Code.
Q. a) What if an employee is seeking supervision at her place of employment but is told all supervisors have no available slots? She approaches one who she works closely with and asks if there is any way an exception to the caseload max could be made, so that she could take her on. The BCBA says – under one condition- that the supervisee serve as her Saturday night babysitter for the duration of supervision?
A. Code violation 1.07 exploitative and violation of bartering (not at supervisee request, not common to area or context, not commensurate)
Defined Professional Relationship 1.05
Q. a) What if a neighbor asks a BCBA to look at her child’s IEP, as the team has recently changed service allocations and the mother is concerned that the new treatment model will not meet his needs.? The BCBA feels odd about it, but wants to be helpful, and stops by the get a copy of the IEP.
A. This would be a violation of Code 1.05 since this is not a a defined, professional relationship.