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Approaching Former Adult Client

Ethics Scenario Archive
1. Approaching Former Adult Client
2. Medical Marijuana
3. Pro Bono Work
4. Supervision Has Multiple Relationships with Family Receiving Services
5. Parent Training Concerns
6. Parents Not Implementing Procedures
7. Soliciting Parent Testimonials
8. Retaliation Towards Mandated Reporting
9. Family Rejecting Safety Measures
10. Parental Collaboration
11. Hostile Work Enviornment
12. Creating Protocol to Prevent and Treat Trauma with Limited Functional Language
13. Parent ABA Practice Questions in OT & Speech
14. Potential Gifts From Clients on Social Media
15. Helping Close Relationships With ABA Tips
16. Parent Utilizing CBD & THC
17. Client Pre-Authorization Denied For Much Needed Services
18. Supervisee Slaps Child in School Setting
19. Changing Direction of Treatment from Previous BCBA
20. BCBA Subpoenaed in Family Court
21. Terminate Services Due To Parent Behavior
22. Parents Offering Token Items During Check Out/Transition
23. Family Doesn’t Want Details Released To Funding Source Without Permission
24. Resources for IRB Approval for Independent Researchers
25. Speech Therapist Refusing To Do PECS
26. BCBA Receives Cease & Desist
27. Unlicensed, Certified BCBA Provide Supervision
28. Rapid Prompting Method (RPM)
29. Parent as Witness to Accident
30. Website Testimonials
31. Student Using Social Media Inappropriately
32. Hiring Behavior Analyst Trainees at a School District
33. College Recommendation Letter for Client
34. Connecting Families That Are Clients
35. Employer Requiring Same Number of ABA Hours for All New Clients from New BCaBA
36. Do we have any ethical guidelines regarding shared work spaces among two companies that provide similar ABA services in a private property?
37. Client Assessment & Discontinuation
38. Caseload Concerns

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I moved to Arizona seven years ago, but I started my career here providing habilitation services to adults. However, for the past six years, I have been working with only children. Two weeks ago, I saw one of my previous adult clients working at my neighborhood grocery store. I am aware we’re not allowed to approach families of children we work with, because someone could guess we provide services to them based on knowing what our career is. However, this is an adult I haven’t worked with for seven years. If my main focus has been working with children for six years, is there an issue with approaching my former adult client if he is alone?


  • I see no ethical problem with being a nice person and saying hello! You can decide where to go from there based on his response to seeing you.
  • To be a devil’s advocate, the BACB compliance code has no expiration date for maintaining client confidentiality. A client may not want to acknowledge a connection publicly even years later. However, just saying hello is of course friendly, and not likely to cause harm especially when the client relationship is long over. Perhaps you could even say hello without saying the client’s name; then if they recognize you and want to talk, great! If not, explaining how you know them publicly may not be appropriate.
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