The Sanctuary Model

At Morrison, we are committed to implementing the Sanctuary Model, a method for cultural change and providing trauma-informed care to those we serve. The Sanctuary Model is based on the belief that trauma, chronic stress, and adversity are universal human experiences. The model replaces burnout, compassion fatigue, and toxic stress with a renewed culture of self-care, heightened creativity, and overall resilience. It maintains that healing from trauma requires creating an organizational environment that promotes healing in all directions — staff, clients, and community.

The Sanctuary Model was created by Philadelphia therapist, Dr. Sandra Bloom, and her colleagues in the early 1980s. Over time, the model has been adapted for use in a wide range of human service programs across the U.S. and abroad. The Sanctuary Model has the following four pillars:

    Trauma Theory suggests that many of the behavioral symptoms that we see in individuals are a direct result of coping with adverse experiences.
    The Seven Commitments are individual and organizational commitments to nonviolence, emotional intelligence, social learning, democracy, open communication, social responsibility, growth, and change.
  3. S.E.L.F.
    S.E.L.F. stands for Safety, Emotion, Loss, and Future. This provides a common language for processing events in our personal and organizational communities.
    The Tool Kit is comprised of community meetings, use of the S.E.L.F. concept, safety plans, self-care plans, and red flag meetings.

For more information about the Sanctuary Model, please visit

Equity and Inclusion

As part of our commitment to equity and inclusion, we support our communities to move beyond disparity and oppression and work with compassion, integrity, and dedication to social justice. We commit to empowering the communities we serve and supporting our Morrison team members. As our workforce grows to reflect the diversity of these communities, our agency and workplace are enriched and strengthened.  To support our commitment to equity and inclusion, all employees must:

  • demonstrate the initiative to learn and enhance knowledge and skills that promote anti-oppressive and culturally responsive practices.
  • participate in intentional learning efforts such as trainings, events, consultations, and other presentations related to understanding and supporting equity and inclusion. 

We continue to develop and implement goals, policies, and competencies founded upon principles of social justice to promote equity and inclusion.

Resource Groups

Our culturally specific resource groups provide a space where our employees from diverse groups and allies can gather to strengthen each other’s work. Groups meet once a month to help us apply our knowledge of cultural dynamics and deepen our understanding of how current issues impact our organization and the community we serve. Our resource groups include:

The AARG resource group is open to all Morrison employees who identify as African American or those who are identified as allies. It promotes a positive work environment that supports employees and clients who identify as African American and plays a critical role in building an inclusive and culturally responsive organization.

The FBRG is a space for dialogue for Morrison staff regarding faith and spiritual practices/resources to assist staff working with clients where faith/spirituality are of prime importance.

The LSP group is for Spanish bilingual-bicultural service providers and service providers with Spanish bilingual-bicultural clients on their caseloads. Service providers who have Spanish bilingual-bicultural clients are required to attend one of the two LSP consultation groups held each month.

The LSP Action Committee is open to all Morrison employees who identify as Latino-a, Spanish bilingual and/or Spanish bicultural; those who are identified as allies; and wish to address employee and agency issues.

The QSP group is open to all Morrison employees to gather input, build awareness of LGBTQ-specific issues, and provide a forum for training opportunities for staff. It also develops collaborations with community partners.