Skip to main content

Sanctuary Model of Care

Over the coming months our staff, our students and their families, our volunteers and board members will be learning about the Sanctuary Model of Care. Sanctuary is an evidence informed practice that is recognized by the federal government’s mental health organization (SAMSHA). The model represents a trauma informed method for creating or transforming organizational culture in order to more effectively provide an environment within which healing from psychological and social traumatic experiences can be addressed.

The implementation process will be multi-year. We will all learn more about the effects of traumatic experiences, the implication of these experiences on the our organization, staff and the young people we serve, how best to treat the trauma at all levels and what we can do proactively to minimize future occurrences. As a result of our Sanctuary training, we can expect to see:

• Less violence including physical, verbal and emotional forms of violence
• Systemic understanding of complex bio-psychosocial impacts of trauma and what we can do in response
• Increased focus on what happened to the individual and not “what’s wrong” with that individual
• Better ability to articulate our organizational and clinical goals and create strategies for change
• Greater understanding of reenactment behavior and resistance to change both organizationally and clinically
• More democratic processes at all levels

We chose the Sanctuary Model of Care precisely because it addressed the adverse and stressful experiences that have affected our organization, our staff, our young people and their families, our volunteers and board of directors. This stress is an unintended consequence of the hard work that we do. Whether that be institutional stress that comes from facing limitations due to ever increasing demands with limited ability to respond due to stagnant reimbursement rates and rigid payment structures, or collective individual stress due to secondary trauma while showing empathy to the children and families we treat. That stress can take its toll on an organization’s ability to provide the best possible treatment to the children and families we serve. That stress can also take a toll on staff and volunteers ability to take care of one another and the children and families we treat. In the coming months our staff and foster parents will be involved in developing a three year plan to adapt the Sanctuary Model into our everyday life here at AK Child & Family. We will keep our blog readers updated on our progress.

For more information about The Sanctuary Model of Care follow this link,