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Using the Sanctuary Model and Toolkit in your Everday Routine

August 28, 2017


Every day, Auberle’s programs integrate trauma-informed care for each child and family. We design programming to support children and families emotionally, intellectually and physically. Auberle embraces the organizational philosophy of the Sanctuary Model™ , which takes advantage of what we know about human nature, healing from injury, the power of communities, and the chaotic nature of change.


As an agency, Auberle prides itself on innovative practices and practicing by the The was the next step as we continue to innovate. The Four Pillars provide the framework of the Sanctuary Model, which guides Auberle and the children and families we serve in managing change and healing from trauma. 


An important aspect of of the Sanctuary Model is the Sanctuary Toolkit. In the toolkit is the method of developing a safety plan. Safety plans are physical and concrete commitments to maintaining safety in all areas of the therapeutic setting.


Our young people and staff are expected to carry their safety plan cards with them throughout the day and refer to them when necessary. With the staff’s help, our young people make their own safety plans, a list of steps one can take when feeling overwhelmed or when symptoms are particularly distressing.


The safety plan is a small card that has 4 to 5 blank lines on it where a child or staff can write any suggestions for ways to keep them safe. These cards can be confidential, but all are encouraged to share their safety plans with others who can help them.


The following are examples that our young people and staff have found beneficial:

  • Take a deep breath

  • Use positive self-talk

  • Take a walk

  • Think about being in a safe place

  • Talk to a friend

  • Listen to music

  • Leave the room

  • Write or draw 


Safety plans are a simple, but very effective way of keeping alive the message to children that our goal is to keep them and ourselves safe. So go ahead, try it for yourself. Take a small piece of paper and keep it somewhere safe and be sure to reference it for those tough and rough days. 

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