WHAT IS SANCTUARY?
The Sanctuary Model® represents a theory-based, trauma-informed, trauma-responsive, evidence-supported, and whole of culture approach. It has a clear and structured methodology for building a safe organisational culture. The model is a set of interactive tools that assist people to work together, use a common language and to act in ways that support traumatised clients to heal. At an organisational level it facilitates the development of structures, processes and behaviours on the part of staff and clients that will counteract the impacts of traumatic and adverse experiences.
The Sanctuary Model focuses on safety; and implementation focuses on how to create a safe, non-violent environment that teaches people to cope effectively with stress and adversity and to heal from trauma. The model is focused on implementing the ‘Seven commitments’: Non-violence, Emotional Intelligence, Social Learning, Democracy, Open Communication, Social Responsibility, and Growth and Change. It also features a trauma-informed problem-solving framework represented by the acronym S.E.L.F (Safety, Emotions, Loss and Future) and a set of practical tools (called the Sanctuary Tool Kit) to improve communication, team work, learning, conflict resolution, safety (for staff and clients) and self-care.
What does the CEO say about the Sanctuary Model?
In the final weeks of August 2017, I had the privilege to attend Anglicare’s first three-day Sanctuary introductory training along with my fellow members of the Steering Committee together with our new Sanctuary Core Team. It is rare to be in a space where Youth Workers and Executives have equal voice. It was enlightening to see key Sanctuary Commitments like Social Learning come to life in our discussions as hierarchies dissolved and passion and wisdom was shared generously by all participants.
The Executive hope that by introducing Sanctuary we can ensure that staff are safe and have the capacity to create a safe environment in which to care for our clients, participants, residents and families.
Evidence from America suggests that we should see a reduction in staff turn-over and burnout from introducing the Sanctuary model, which in turn will lead to better outcomes for clients. One of the strengths of Sanctuary is that it can be customised to local circumstances. It provides a flexible framework rather that a rigid program. From this week the Core Team, which is largely made up of front-line staff broadly representing all our offices and regions, will be making decisions on how to implement Sanctuary within Anglicare.
Sanctuary describes itself as “a blueprint for clinical and organisational change… through the active creation of a trauma-informed community”. It provides us with a range of tools to improve our awareness of trauma, including a common language to describe adverse events regardless of our role or professional training. In essence Sanctuary is about creating a culture of safety across the whole organisation. We recognise that staff that work in a community services organisation like Anglicare are vulnerable to stress and burn-out, especially through the dynamics of vicarious trauma. Our work can be very emotionally draining. Indeed vicarious trauma is sometimes called “compassion fatigue”. Sanctuary aims to protect staff against vicarious trauma by ensuring collegial support is structured into the workplace and supplemented by strong supervision and coaching from management.
What do we hope the model will achieve?
Some of the benefits experienced by organisations who have achieved Certification in the Sanctuary Model include:
- Improved sense of safety; decreased staff and client injury and reduction in escalated critical incidents (physical and emotional);
- Creation of environments where staff feel valued, teams trust one another and clients feel safe and supported to heal;
- Increased staff satisfaction and innovative problem-solving;
- Decreased staff turn-over and increased morale;
- More honest, effective and open communication and good (complex) decision making.
How can I find out more about the model?
What is Core Team?
The Sanctuary Core Team has been appointed by the Steering Committee as the leadership team who are responsible for guiding the implementation of the Sanctuary Model across Anglicare. The Core Team members were chosen (through an organisation-wide Expression of Interest) to be representative of the whole organisation and so encompass all levels, roles and services in Anglicare. They provide important feedback from the organisation to ensure ‘every voice is heard’ in the change process. Consequently the Core Team is multi-disciplinary, multi-level and diverse.
Who Is In Core Team?
What are Local Implementation Teams?
For Anglicare to get the most value out of adopting the Sanctuary Model, Core Team has proposed the development of Local Implementation Teams. The Local Implementation Teams will work with Core Team Members to ensure the principles of the Sanctuary Model fits with and is responsive to nuances of local service delivery. The role of Local Implementation Team Representatives is to be:
- Involved in integrating the Sanctuary Commitments and Toolkit into day-to-day operations;
- Involved with identifying strengths, vulnerabilities and major conflicts in the region/program;
- Role modelling Sanctuary Commitments, educating staff in the 4 Pillars and developing resources for use at a local level
What is a Community Meeting?
A Community Meeting is part of the Sanctuary Tool Kit that reflects the 7 Commitments (Non-violence, Emotional Intelligence, Open Communication, Democracy, Social Learning, Social Responsibility, and Growth & Change). The community meeting is mean to move quickly. It is not a therapy session. They are done to begin and to ‘close’ the day. Recognising feelings, sharing goals and understanding workload pressures on others, helps to create stronger, supportive and more cohesive teams.
Does the Sanctuary Model replace the Anglicare values?
No. The Pillars in the Sanctuary Model intersect with Anglicare Values; they are complimentary and connect in multiple ways. The Mission and Community Engagement Team has developed a pictorial representation, to demonstrate how Anglicare Values support and provide a foundation for the introduction of the Sanctuary Model. Anglicare Values will support the model to ‘grow’ across our services and become embedded in our practice, through the implementation and Certification process.
HAVE YOUR SAY
Have some feedback or a question about Sanctuary? Complete the form below to send a message to our team.