Implementation of The Sanctuary Model in residential out-of-home care: Enablers, barriers, successes and challenges

Emma Galvin, Heather Morris, Aya Mousa, Renee O'Donnell, Nick Halfpenny, Helen Skouteris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


This study aimed to examine the enablers, barriers, organisational successes and challenges experienced by decision makers (managers and executive staff) when implementing The Sanctuary Model, a trauma-informed, organisation-wide model in residential out-of-home care. Following ethics approval, nine semi-structured interviews were conducted between September 2018 and February 2019. Data were thematically analysed and four enablers for implementing The Sanctuary Model in residential care were identified: (1) shared trauma-informed knowledge and understanding; (2) leadership and champions; (3) structures; and (4) creativity and flexibility. Three barriers of implementation were recognised: (1) infidelity of the model; (2) lack of practice-based and refresher training; and (3) poor resources. The successes experienced during implementation were presented as: (1) the Sanctuary commitments; (2) the SELF framework; and (3) reflective practice. One prominent challenge presented across managers and executive staff was the relevance to staff and young people. Key findings indicate that when implementing The Sanctuary Model, organisations need to commit to organisational and behavioural change by providing resources, hands on support, and ongoing practice-based and refresher training, all of which consistently promote incorporating The Sanctuary Model into practice.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105901
Number of pages8
JournalChildren and Youth Services Review
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021


  • Implementation
  • Out-of-home care
  • Residential care staff
  • Trauma-informed care

Cite this