This is the third in a trilogy of books that chronicle the revolutionary changes in our mental health and human service delivery systems that have conspired to disempower staff and hinder client recovery. Creating Sanctuary documented the evolution of The Sanctuary Model therapeutic approach as an antidote to the personal and social trauma that clients bring to child welfare agencies, psychiatric hospitals, and residential facilities. Destroying Sanctuary details the destructive role of organizational trauma in the nation's systems of care. Restoring Sanctuary is a user-friendly manual for organizational change that addresses the deep roots of toxic stress and illustrates how to transform a dysfunctional human service system into a safe, secure, trauma-informed environment. At its heart, The Sanctuary Model represents an organizational value system that is committed to seven principles, which serve as anchors for decision making at all levels: non-violence, emotional intelligence, social learning, democracy, open communication, social responsibility, and growth and change. The Sanctuary Model is not a clinical intervention; rather, it is a method for creating an organizational culture that can more effectively provide a cohesive context within which healing from psychological and socially derived forms of traumatic experience can be addressed. Chapters are organized around the seven Sanctuary commitments, providing step-by-step, realistic guidance on creating and sustaining fundamental change. Restoring Sanctuary is a roadmap to recovery for our nation's systems of care. It explores the notion that organizations are living systems themselves and as such they manifest various degrees of health and dysfunction, analogous to those of individuals. Becoming a truly trauma-informed system therefore requires a process of reconstitution within helping organizations, top to bottom. A system cannot be truly trauma-informed unless the system can create andsustain a process of understanding itself.
Sandra L. Bloom, MD, is Associate Professor of Health Management and Policy in the School of Public Health at Drexel University. Brian Farragher, MBA, is Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of The Andrus Children's Center.