The House has been changing children's lives since 1872.

The Sanctuary Model

The Sanctuary® Model is a nationally recognized framework for trauma-informed care. It originated in the Philadelphia area in the 1980s with the work of Dr. Sandra Bloom and her colleagues. The House established Sanctuary as the foundation for all of our treatment programs and for the organization and support of our staff.

The House of the Good Shepherd received its official Sanctuary Certification in February 2012.

"On Behalf of the Sanctuary Institute, we are pleased to inform you that The House of the Good Shepherd has satisfied the requirements for Sanctuary Certification. You are only one of a handful of agencies to be awarded this distinction, which reflects an agency-wide commitment to the creation of a non-violent, therapeutic culture."

How We Use the Sanctuary Model to Change Children's Lives

At its core, Sanctuary at The House of the Good Shepherd promotes safety and recovery from chronic stress and adversity by means of a trauma-informed organization. In order to intervene effectively in a traumatized child's life, we moved from a position of blame to one of experience. We stop asking, "What's wrong with this child?" and focus on "What happened to this child?"

Sanctuary is the Driving Principle of Our Organization

Just as children who suffer chronic stress and adversity find it difficult to cope, the Sanctuary Model recognizes that institutions themselves are equally vulnerable. We made the commitment to train all our staff in the philosophical underpinnings of Sanctuary. As a result, we have a safer, better functioning organization and have seen improved outcomes for our kids, improved staff retention and satisfaction and decreased violence.