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Nazareth Child & Family Connection certified as Sanctuary Institute organization

ROCKWELL – After two years of staff assessment, studying and training, Nazareth Child & Family Connection has been certified as a Sanctuary Institute organization.

The nationally recognized Sanctuary Institute is a blueprint for clinical and organizational change to create safe and healing environments for children, families and adults who have experienced chronic stress and adversity through the active creation of a trauma-informed community.

“Too many times in life we ask, ‘what’s wrong with you’,” said Vernon Walters, president and CEO of Nazareth Child & Family Connection. “The Sanctuary Model teaches us to ask, ‘what happened to you.’ It redefines how we look at ourselves and at those in our care in a very positive way.”

The Sanctuary Institute certification process included all 107 full and part-time Nazareth employees across all its sites. Review and evaluation onsite by Sanctuary Institute representatives were held Feb. 6 and 7 with certification notice on Feb. 20.

The Sanctuary Institute was founded in Philadelphia in the early 1980s by a team of clinicians working in a small inpatient adult hospital unit led by Dr. Sandra Bloom.

The wide-ranging effectiveness of the Sanctuary Model across many human service organizations, including residential centers, community-based programs, foster care programs and drug and alcohol treatment centers made it a good fit for Nazareth. In addition to its residential services for children and foster care program, Nazareth has three outpatient facilities helping those with mental health, substance abuse, developmental disabilities as well as behavioral health needs.

“We touch so many people across all of our programs whose entire lives have been impacted by adversity and trauma,” said Walters. “The Sanctuary Model is going to improve how we understand their lives and problems. It’s going to help us make their lives better.”

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