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Assessing the Implementation of a Residential Facility Organizational Change Model: Pennsylvania's Implementation of the Sanctuary Model

By Bradley D. Stein, Mark Sorbero, Jane Kogan, and Laura Greenberg - Research, Evaluation, and Outcomes (July 2011)

Many youth in residential treatment facilities (RTF) have been exposed to a variety of traumas in their lives and are often among the highest risk youth. There is great need to improve the services such youth receive in RTFs. Implementing evidence-based clinical interventions in RTFs poses a number of challenges including serving youth with severe and varied clinical issues, high rates of staff turnover, and high youth to clinician ratios.

As a result, efforts to improve the care of youth in RTFs have increasingly focused on the therapeutic nature of the residential care environment. The Sanctuary Model®, is one such intervention.

The Sanctuary Model®, developed by Sandra Bloom, MD is a trauma-informed method for creating or changing an organizational culture. The Sanctuary Model®, is a full-system intervention that focuses on helping injured children recover from the damaging effects of interpersonal trauma through changing the organizational culture. Because it is a full system approach, effective implementation of the Sanctuary Model®, requires extensive system level leadership involvement in the process of change as well as staff and client involvement at every level of the process. The Sanctuary Model®, is designed to improve client and staff outcomes through building a shared language and vision enhancing the culture of participating organizations by encouraging all members of the community to commit to change.

Community Care Behavioral Health Organization (Community Care) has played a leadership role in supporting efforts to bring the Sanctuary Model®, to many residential treatment facilities. Many of our staff and in-network providers have participated in Sanctuary training as part of their commitment to advancing quality of care. To better understand the Sanctuary Model's impact on Community Care members, we examined the use of services by youth following discharge from Sanctuary trained facilities.

Read entire review here (PDF)

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