1.3c Describe different working relationships in health and social care settings

This page is designed to answer the following questions:

There are many different types of working relationships in health and social care settings. Working relationships are professional relationships and not be confused with personal relationships.

Relationship with individuals you support and their family

As you have regular contact with the individuals you will maintain a working relationship with them. You will be expected to communicate with them effectively and support them in line with their needs and preferences. You may also have to work with the individual’s family and friends – they can be a great source of information about what works well for an individual.

Relationship with your colleagues

You will also have a working relationship with your co-workers and managers. You should always remain professional and follow agreed ways of working. Any issues or concerns you have should be reported to your manager in the first instance.

Relationship with outside agencies

You will also be expected to maintain working relationships with outside agencies. These could be with people that are working with you to achieve the best outcomes for the individuals you support such as:

  • Social Workers
  • Nurses
  • GP
  • Psychologist
  • Advocate
  • Appointee
  • Dietician

There will also be times that you will have a professional relationship with other organisations that are working with your company. This could be a software supplier, training provider or CQC.

Example question and answer

Describe some of the different types of working/professional relationships in care settings

There are many different working relationships in a health & social care setting. these can include:

  • The relationship between support workers (co-workers)
  • The relationship between managers and subordinates
  • The relationships between employees and service users
  • The relationships between employees and the family and friends of a service user
  • The relationships between employees and other health & social care professionals


Support workers and carers can be friends outside work but when at work their relationship must remain professional. Having a personal and professional relationship has the potential to cause a conflict of interest, which is why many organisations have a policy that restricts employees that are closely related (e.g. family or spouses) from working together.

Manager and subordinates

Managers are required to be leaders, which involves getting the most out of their subordinates, solving problems and going through disciplinary procedures.

Care workers and clients

The relationship between care workers and the individuals that they support should be purely professional. They must work together and collaborate on their personalised care plan and the care worker should always treat the individual with dignity and respect.

Care workers and family/friends of clients

Care workers may also have a working relationship with the friends and relations of the individuals they support.

Care workers and other professionals

There will be occasions when care workers will also have a close relationship with workers from outside agencies. This could include doctors, nurses, social workers, psychologists, advocates and appointees.