In 2010, Children's Service Center was certified as a Sanctuary organization. Certification denotes an organization-wide commitment to the Sanctuary Model, which represents a theory-based, trauma-informed, evidence-supported, whole culture approach that has a clear and structured methodology for creating or changing an organizational culture. For more information on the Sanctuary Model, please visit, or contact Carolanne Jones Leco, Vice President of Programs, at

Sanctuary promotes physical, emotional, social, and moral safety, which is the starting point for a child and his or her family to heal and learn. Some Sanctuary concepts are: Community Meetings, S.E.L.F., Seven Commitments, Red Flag Meetings and Safety Plans.


Safety: Refers to physical, emotional, social, and moral safety, which must be established first and is the critical point for anyone to begin healing and learning.

Emotional Management: Focuses on how we manage or cope with strong emotions related to our experiences. Feelings drive behaviors and if we are unaware of or can’t effectively manage our feelings, we will act them out in self-defeating ways.

Loss: Losses can be the physical loss of a person, a disaster such as an accident, an emotional loss such as divorce, a move, or a loss of trust, hope, or control. Left unresolved, we can’t move to the future.

Future: Focusing on the development of the beliefs and hopes that things can change and get better. We have control of our futures and we can create positive growth.

The Seven Commitments

A commitment to:

  • Nonviolence: being safe outside (physically), inside (emotionally), with others (socially), and to do the right thing (morally).
  • Emotional Intelligence: managing our feelings so that we do not hurt ourselves or others.
  • Social Learning: respecting and sharing the ideas of our friends, families, etc.
  • Democracy: shared decision making.
  • Open Communication: saying what we mean and not being mean when we say it.
  • Social Responsibility: together we accomplish more; everyone makes a contribution to the unit (family, team, etc.).
  • Growth and Change: creating hope for our children and ourselves.

Red Flag meetings

A Red Flag Meeting is used to engage all individuals that are involved in the client's treatment to problem solve when any concern may come into the treatment process.

A Red Flag Meeting can be called by anyone involved in the client's treatment at anytime and all involved will be asked to attend.

The meeting is time-sensitive and an action plan is developed.

Safety Plans

Safety Plans are put into place to help one know what he or she can do to help themselves when feeling anxious, angry, etc.

Safety Plans list at least five things that people can do to calm themselves down.

Safety Plans should be easy to get to and can be used at anytime.


  • Go for a walk
  • Talk to a friend
  • Play with the family pet
  • Listen to music
  • Play a game

The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study:

The largest scientific research study of its kind that analyzed the relationship between multiple categories of childhood trauma (ACEs), and health and behavioral outcomes later in life.

Growing up experiencing any of the following conditions in the household prior to age 18 can have an effect on a child's health and behavior later in life:

  • Recurrent physical abuse
  • Recurrent emotional abuse
  • Constant sexual abuse
  • An alcohol and/or drug abuser in the household
  • An incarcerated household member
  • A depressed, mentally ill or suicidal household member
  • Mother is treated violently
  • One or no parents
  • Emotional or physical neglect

This study can help you and your child identify stressors that might be increasing your child's current problems. Two-thirds of the U.S. population may have been exposed to at least one adverse childhood experience.