youth-services-logo-news.jpg sanctuary-certified.png 

The Palm Beach County Youth Services Department was certified in the Sanctuary Model of Trauma-Informed Care by the Andrus Sanctuary Institute in September of 2022.

The Sanctuary Model, originally developed by Dr. Sandra Bloom, is a blueprint for clinical and organizational change. The trauma-informed model promotes an environment emphasizing the seven commitments of nonviolence, emotional intelligence, social learning, open communication, social responsibility, democracy, and growth and change.

The department has worked towards this certification, building from the certification of the Highridge Family Center in 2019, for the last three years.  Staff at all levels embraced this organizational model. The certification symbolizes the Youth Services Department's commitment to providing a higher level of care, a trauma-sensitive environment for the clients and community served, and a better work environment for employees.

Implementing the Sanctuary Model of Trauma Informed Care at Youth Services aligns with the Palm Beach County Board of County Commissioners' strategic priorities and the objectives in the Birth to 22 United for Brighter Futures Youth Master Plan. The implementation of the model also increases measurable levels of hope, safety, trust, emotional intelligence, and problem-solving skills in both staff and clients. Palm Beach County Youth Services is the fourth government agency in the nation, and first in the State of Florida to receive this certification.


YSD Employees and Andrus Sanctuary Institute Faculty at the Certification visit

Why Sanctuary?​

  • While trauma can be a deeply personal experience, the impact of trauma goes far beyond the individual.
  • The Sanctuary Model is an organizational and treatment intervention based on the tenets of trauma theory and an understanding of systems theory.
  • It addresses the ways in which trauma, adversity, and chronic stress influence how individuals and whole organizations behave.
  • It is based on a set of guiding principles and specific tools that reinforce the philosophy when practiced by the staff and clients on a daily basis.
  • Unlike other models which suggest specific ways to provide treatment to individuals, Sanctuary is based on the idea that healing from trauma, stress and adversity requires creating a cultural environment that promotes healing.



If you want deeply rooted change, you need to apply deeply rooted methods.

J. Goldstein, 1994, the Unshackled Organization​

Sanctuary Four Pillars


  • The pillars are the foundation that holds up our trauma-informed, trauma-responsive culture. Like the wheels on a car, all four must function well for progress to occur.
  • Trauma theory is knowledge and understanding of the impact of trauma, adversity, and chronic stress has on the mind, body and spirit.
  • Seven Commitments are the values, guiding how we engage one another, and hold one another accountable.
  • SELF provides language, a common way to discuss issues, solve problems, and plan for the future.
  • Sanctuary Toolkit is a set of practices, common rituals that reflect and reinforce our knowledge, values, and language.​
7_Trauma Theory Button.png
8_Trauma Theory.png
9_Seven Commitments Button.png
10_Seven Commitments Poster.png

11_SELF Button.png

12_SELF Poster.png

13_Sanctuary Toolkit Button.png

14_Sanctuary Toolkit Poster.png

15_Sanctuary Poster Button.png

16_Resource Material Button.png

17_ Resource Material Self_Care Plan.png18_ Resource Material Solution in Motion Meeting.png


What Is Sanctuary​