Agencies committed to working with troubled individuals all face enormous stresses. Working with individuals who have faced adversity presents many challenges, from the exposure to the troubling behavior and experiences of clients to the external pressures of working in human services systems. ANDRUS has experienced firsthand the complicated financial, regulatory, social and political environments that can adversely impact organizational functioning and make even the most dedicated individuals lose sight of the mission, goals and values that should guide their work. Over time, stressed organizational systems can become reactive, change resistant, hierarchical, and coercive, and the organization itself may even begin to exhibit PTSD symptoms similar to those of its clients, creating a trauma-organized culture.
In many agencies, these stress factors can converge to cause a noticeable change the culture of the organization. The organization’s leadership may spend more time reacting to crises than planning for the future and may constantly feel like they are “playing catch up” instead of making forward progress. Leadership may begin to feel frustrated towards staff instead of valuing their contributions, and an “us” and “them” mentality can begin to permeate the organization and erode the climate of achievement and growth. Through the Sanctuary Institute, our faculty teach agency leadership to recognize these warning signs and reverse destructive patterns to put the focus back on healing, support, and client welfare.
The Sanctuary Model® is The Sanctuary® Model is a blueprint for change which, at its core, promotes safety and recovery from adversity through the active creation of a trauma-informed community. A recognition that trauma is pervasive in the experience of human beings forms the basis for the Sanctuary Model’s focus not only on the people who seek services, but equally on the people and systems who provide those services.
The Sanctuary Model has been effective with children and adults across a range of human service organizations, including residential treatment centers, public and private schools, domestic violence and homeless shelters, community based programs, foster care programs, and drug and alcohol treatment centers.
Using the Sanctuary Model has enabled agencies to: