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

The 7 Sanctuary Commitments

As a Sanctuary Certified organization, The House of the Good Shepherd has adopted these seven commitments to facilitate healing from trauma.

  1. Nonviolence
    Traumatized children have often experienced violence. The violence might be physical, psychological, social and/or moral. This commitment to Nonviolence produces the opposite experience for our kids.
  2. Emotional Intelligence
    Traumatized children have often experienced insensitivity and disrespect regarding their behaviors and feelings. Emotional Intelligence moves us to understand the relationship between our clients' negative experiences and their emotions and behaviors, so we can respond with those experiences in mind.
  3. Social Learning
    Traumatized children often isolate themselves as a form of self-protection and engage in repetitive patterns of thinking and behavior. Social Learning promotes collaborative thinking and problem solving to break dysfunctional and repetitive patterns of behavior. We emphasize the child's and family's exposure to other's perspectives and ideas. To mitigate the isolating effects of shame, we teach our clients to view mistakes as positive learning opportunities.
  4. Democracy
    Traumatized children often have experienced an overwhelming sense of helplessness during the traumatic event, which can lead to learned helplessness in the future. Democracy requires active participation and empowerment as a way to replace that helplessness.
  5. Open Communication
    Traumatized children develop a heightened sense of secrecy as a result of prolonged exposure to traumatic experiences such as sexual abuse and parental alcoholism. Open Communication creates a community that tolerates expression of emotions and openly explores interpersonal and organizational issues.
  6. Social Responsibility
    Traumatized children and families often experience injustice either during or in response to reporting a traumatic event. Social Responsibility focuses on building communities in which people feel a sense of responsibility and care for each other and the group as a whole. This commitment also assures that people are held accountable for their actions.
  7. Growth and Change
    Traumatized children often become paralyzed by their experiences so that they continue to relive or repeat the past in ways that prevent healing or growth. Growth and Change is a commitment to evaluate current behaviors while focusing on the future by setting achievable goals and breaking dysfunctional patterns.