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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 Management, Loss, and 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.

Safety Plans

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 deescalation 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 deescalation techniques.  Every person in the Foster’s Home neighborhood carries a safety plan, from the president to the youngest child.

8 Commitments

The Sanctuary Model contains eight commitments that serve as goals for resolving trauma-based issues:
Emotional Intelligence
Social Learning
Social Responsibility
Shared Governance
Open Communication
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

A Certified Site

In the Spring of 2013, Foster’s Home for Children became a Sanctuary Certified Site!  We currently retain our certification and continue to grow in our use of the Sanctuary Model and trauma informed care.  This is only a building block for how Foster’s Home uses the model and lives through Sanctuary.  Foster’s Home for Children is the first site in Texas to fully implement and become certified in the Sanctuary Model!

Community Meetings

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 nonthreatening 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.

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