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Working with Sanctuary

00:03 There was a young woman we were working with,

00:05 a client who was very complex

00:08 and was doing a lot of damage to herself

00:11 and to property.

00:14 And they renovated this house

00:15 and worked really hard to make it a good place for her.

00:17 And within a couple of days of her being there,

00:20 the client had done a lot of damage to the house.

00:22 So I said to our property person

00:26 we better go out and have a look

00:27 and see what we can do about this.

00:29 And we walked into the house

00:30 and she looked around and she went "ahh"

00:31 and I thought oh here it comes.

00:33 She's gonna start complaining about the damage

00:35 and she just said

00:36 "Oh, what's happened to this young woman?

00:39 "What terrible things have happened to her

00:41 "that this is what she needs to do?"

00:44 and she went straight then

00:45 into okay, so how can we make it better?

00:48 How can we make this house a safer place

00:50 for this young person to live in?

00:53 Because you know,

00:53 terrible things must have happened to her

00:55 for her to be like this.

00:57 So that was the moment

00:59 when I could really see sanctuary working

01:02 through the actions of that property person.

01:05 She got it,

01:06 she was trauma informed,

01:08 and her response was perfect

01:09 in terms of safety of young people.

01:11 And that's what it's all about.

01:18 I remember visiting the primary school.

01:21 And we had introduced community meetings

01:24 with the young people there,

01:26 ranging in age from six years old to 12, 13.

01:31 And a lot of the young people

01:32 that come to us have experienced,

01:34 or continue to experience trauma in their lives,

01:38 and are often referred to us

01:40 because they're having a lot of difficulty

01:42 engaging in education in a mainstream setting.

01:50 At the beginning of 2014,

01:51 they would all participate in the community meetings

01:54 and a lot of them would find that really difficult.

01:57 So some of them would hide under the tables,

02:00 some of them would hide in the corners

02:02 or run out of the room.

02:04 They found it really difficult to participate

02:06 in that sort of sharing.

02:08 Just to look and hear and see the journey

02:13 that those young people had made

02:16 and their capacity

02:18 to name their feeling

02:21 for the morning,

02:22 whether or not that was sadness,

02:24 whether or not it was fear,

02:26 whether or not it was happiness.

02:28 And then to talk about what their goals were

02:31 and then moving on from that,

02:33 who was going to be able to help them.

02:36 And for them to name those people.

02:38 I just thought how amazing is this?

02:44 - In terms of safety plans,

02:46 it's a great opportunity to utilize something

02:50 to maintain your self care.

02:52 Because you might find yourself in situations

02:55 of crisis that you feel you need to have something

02:59 that you can rely on to be able

03:00 to change that state for you.

03:06 But sometimes I think for the young people,

03:08 having something written down in words at times,

03:12 depending on their level

03:13 of intellectual functioning,

03:14 can be a little bit overwhelming.

03:15 And in terms of connecting with that,

03:17 it's really quite difficult.

03:18 So one of the staff members on our team

03:22 decided to be really creative

03:23 with some of the safety plan strategies,

03:26 and actually worked with a young person

03:28 to be able to put in a visual safety plan.

03:30 This staff member has a pug

03:32 and brings the pug into work on a fairly regular basis,

03:34 and it's a wonderful therapeutic thing for the kids

03:37 and they do love that,

03:38 but what she did was actually put in pictures

03:41 of pugs doing certain things.

03:43 So it had a pug with a pink wig on,

03:45 so that'll mean you go and dye your hair.

03:47 Now, if the young person then goes and looks at that,

03:49 has a laugh, is able to actually break this state of mind

03:52 and take themselves out of that anger

03:54 in the situation they're actually involved in,

03:56 it's having the actual impact that it needs.

03:58 So I think that's a thing

03:59 you can utilize the sanctuary commitments

04:03 and the sanctuary model,

04:05 but being able to actually make it live and breathe

04:07 and actually develop that

04:08 and push it farther,

04:09 think's really made something beautiful to behold

04:11 and we've now got the sanctuary commitment according to pug.

04:19 My favorite story about a red flag meeting

04:22 comes from our foster care team in New South Wales.

04:29 They were looking after three young people, siblings.

04:32 They're aged 11, 13, and 15.

04:35 Their mom was expecting a new baby

04:38 and they were really worried about the future,

04:40 the long term plans,

04:41 and the safety of their baby brother.

04:44 So a red flag meeting was called,

04:47 which brought together their case manager,

04:49 their foster carer and the three young people.

04:52 Their case manager helped the kids talk through

04:55 some of those really difficult emotions

04:58 and their feelings of letting their mum down,

05:00 as well as think about some solutions

05:03 and some ways to move forward.

05:05 The information that they shared in the meeting

05:07 informed the decision that their baby brother

05:10 was placed with them in long term foster care.

05:13 So that's a really great outcome

05:15 because their baby brother got to live with them.

05:18 And it's really important that siblings

05:20 in out of home care are able to stay together.

05:25 As a sanctuary organization,

05:27 I think it's really created a unique space

05:30 where children feel safe and heard

05:33 and able to voice their opinions and their feelings.

05:36 Yeah, I think sanctuary has enabled us

05:40 to create a safe refuge for the young people

05:44 that we support.

05:47 Yeah, the actual impact that we found sanctuary

05:49 to have with the young people

05:51 has been an absolutely wonderful thing.

05:53 And again, we've seen emotional development,

05:55 growth, maturity,

05:56 through a sense of safety and predictability

05:59 in what we provide for them and the care

06:01 that they have with MacKillop.