The Sanctuary Model®
Sherwood and Myrtie Foster’s Home for Children has embraced the Sanctuary Model of Trauma Informed Care as the conduit for implementing its mission to children and families suffering from violence, neglect, abuse, addiction, racism and trauma.
Sanctuary is based on trauma theory and systems theory, which makes it particularly effective for an entire organization.
Sanctuary is based on the idea that healing from trauma, stress and adversity requires creating an environment that promotes healing.
Sanctuary uses S.E.L.F. as the lens through which it examines the seven commitments, use of safety plans and daily living in the neighborhood of Foster’s Home. The S.E.L.F. framework stands for: • Safety • Emotions • Loss • Future.
Sanctuary-trained staff are expected to be role models for healthy relationships among clients and treatment providers and to make safety and non-violence major priorities across the milieu.
The Sanctuary Model contains seven commitments that serve as goals for resolving trauma-based issues:
Growth and Change
Forgiveness. – added by Foster’s Home in the belief that none of the other commitments are possible without Forgiveness, which was first given to us
Developing safety plans for clients and staff members is a core component of the Sanctuary Model. These plans are constantly evolving and contain internal and external de-escalation techniques for clients and staff to use until they can regain control of their emotions. These techniques distract clients from focusing on what is upsetting them and assists them to internalize de-escalation techniques. Every person in the Foster’s Home neighborhood carries a safety plan, from the president to the youngest child.
A vital element of the model is the “Community Meeting,” which takes place twice daily in homes, offices, and all departments. The meeting involves input from all clients and staff members regarding personal and group goals and is structured to provide safety and unthreatened communication. During the meetings, each participant is asked three questions: “How are you feeling?” “What is your goal?” and “Who will you ask for help?” These meetings foster the ability in clients to communicate their feelings and to identify the need for help with their feelings and goals. Each client sets daily goals and tracks his or her own progress toward these goals throughout the day.