Sanctuary Institute Certified

Orchard Place is the only provider in Iowa certified by The Sanctuary Institute. This certification symbolizes our organization’s commitment to providing a higher level of care, a trauma-sensitive environment for the children and families we serve, and a better work environment for our team members. Sanctuary certification requires re-evaluation every three years, as it is designed to promote, sustain and strengthen an organization’s commitment to the maintenance of a trauma informed culture for all of its stakeholders. 

Orchard Place chose Sanctuary because it promotes safety and recovery from adversity by utilizing a trauma-informed care approach to organizational change and treatment.  This model recognizes that just as humans are susceptible to adversity, organizations themselves are equally as vulnerable. The Sanctuary Model:

  • Helps people bounce back and recover from the challenging things that happen to them.
  • Teaches us how to build and use supportive relationships with other people so we feel supported. 
  • Shows children and families all they are capable of, and helps them find solutions for a better future. 

Sanctuary Model guides our organization in the development of a culture with seven dominant characteristics, all of which serve goals that are related to trauma resolution. We call our shared values Commitments because everyone in every part of the agency is expected to practice them.  Orchard place has adopted the Seven Commitments as our agency values.  


One easy way to use Sanctuary values is by holding a "Community Meeting" where the following questions are asked: 

  1. How are you feeling today? The purpose of this question is to help all of us recognize our feelings and to manage them.
  2. What are your goals for today?  The purpose of this question is to keep us focused on the future.
  3. Who can you ask for help? The purpose of this question is to build our relationships with each other and to know we are not in this alone.

Click here to learn more about Community Meetings

Shared Language for Change


Sanctuary creates a simple, shared language for talking about and overcoming difficult experiences using the S.E.L.F. framework.

S = Safety 

 For positive change and healing, everyone must be safe physically, emotionally, socially and morally.

E = Emotions 

 Managing emotions helps us know what we are feeling and to handle our feelings so we don’t hurt ourselves or others.

L = Loss 

 Everyone experiences loss, change and challenging experiences. We recognize the need to safely talk about and work through these in order to achieve a healthy future.

F = Future 

 Client, family and staff work together to promote healthy choices and resiliency for a positive future.

Tools for Success


Sanctuary gives us tools to achieve our goals and have successful futures.

Community Meetings are held frequently to help us connect to our feelings, identify our goals for success, and bring us closer with our support systems.

Safety Plans provide visual reminders of healthy and safe ways to handle challenging situations.

Self-Care Plans are practical activities that we can use to manage stress and take care of ourselves on a daily basis.

Red Flag Review are used when critical incidents occur and focus on solutions rather than problems.

S.E.L.F. Meetings are used to discuss challenging situations and identify future plans using a shared language.

The Sanctuary Model is an organizational and treatment intervention based on the principles of trauma theory. Sanctuary provides us with guiding principles and specific tools to address the ways in which trauma, adversity and chronic stress influence individuals as well as the whole organization. The Sanctuary Model guides leaders, staff, children and families to share the same values and language. The Sanctuary Model is first and foremost a guide for creating a safe and nonviolent environment for the clients in our care and the staff that work in the organization.

Click here to learn more about how we embody the Seven Commitments at Orchard Place.

See what Orchard Place team members say about how Sanctuary impacts their work:   


Sanctuary helps families identify their feelings so they can get in touch with their emotions and change and grow.

Sanctuary helps me identify ways I can improve to be the best support I can be for the youth we care for on Campus.

Sanctuary gives me language to help make sense of trauma and challenges that come up, plus the tools to help process and move through those challenges.

Sanctuary reminds me of the moral and ethical standards that I want to consistently display and model while working with others.

I am able to utilize the 7 commitments to provide the best possible service and outcome for my clients and their families.

Sanctuary helps me gain different perspectives as a professional allowing me to be more successful with problem solving and interventions.

Sanctuary gives me a base language and approach to challenging situations, helping keep the focus on the future.