Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Protecting Against Liability versus HelpIng

Today the chair of a non-profit board I belong to that serves the unsheltered homeless resigned over concerns about liability. 

This brings up an interesting issue.  Seems that concern about liability is essentially the same as concern about self.  How compatible is it with love and helpfulness?  Is love concerned about our liability?  I suppose it could be if what we are protecting is our ability to care for the ones we love.  One sure way to be free of any liability is to not help anyone but yourself. 

I understand that we need to be wise and careful in our efforts to help a group with problems.  It may not be healthy or right to cross certain boundaries, whether they are legal or personal.  But how do you, or can you even properly balance concerns with liability with the desire to be helpful?  Seems you can't have it both ways.  Often to be helpful you have to expose yourself to some liability.  This may be especially true with those that our system has failed or even ostracized.

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