WC&S uses the models of Sanctuary, JARS, and WCBS to live out our values of SUCCESS. Every day, these three systems help us remained aligned with our goals and with each other, working together to realize our vision of ending domestic violence and creating safe spaces for help, healing, and hope.
The Sanctuary Model is a holistic approach to helping injured children and adults recover from damaging effects of domestic violence through trauma-informed care, compassion, and mindfulness. It guides all WC&S programs in creating an organizational culture and a cohesive context for healing from psychological and social traumatic experiences. The Sanctuary Model was developed in the 1980s by Dr. Sandra Bloom and her team at the Sanctuary Institute.
WC&S staff members receive refresher trainings throughout the year about the Sanctuary Model and have open discussions about their challenges.
WC&S lives the Sanctuary Model through community meetings with clients, where people can share how they are feeling that day, their goal for the week, and who they can ask for help to achieve the goal. The Sanctuary Model is also integrated in team meetings. Staff and clients each create an Emotional Safety Plans, which is a list of activities that a person can choose when feeling overwhelmed so they can avoid engaging in unsafe behavior.
A core aspect of Sanctuary is the SELF model, which is how WC&S addresses trauma and loss as individuals, organizations, and groups. Managing S.E.L.F. is important for self-care, as well as for understanding the environment that survivors are coming from.
- Safety – attaining safety in self, relationships, and environment
- Emotions – identifying levels of various emotions and modulating emotion in response to memories, persons, and events
- Loss – feeling grief, dealing with personal losses, and recognizing that all change involves loss
- Future – trying out new roles and ways of relating as a “survivor” to ensure personal safety and help others
JARS stands for Justice, Autonomy, Restoration, and Safety. It assists the survivor in moving in the direction they want to go, becoming responsible for themselves, and having the freedom and safety to grow.
WC&S’ Civil Law Project and Legal Advocacy Department assists DV survivors with obtaining Justice, Restoration, Autonomy, and Safety. They also use JARS to improve the justice system’s response to domestic violence. The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence also uses JARS to provide domestic violence advocates with skills and knowledge to meet the complex needs of survivors.
- Justice—seeking legal, economic, and social reparations for issues created by the abuser
- Autonomy—respecting each survivor’s right to self-determination
- Restoration—working with survivors to regain physical and emotional control over their lives
- Safety—teaching individuals and communities to protect against physical, emotional, psychological, economic, and sexual abuse
WCBS is the Women’s Center Business System, our organizational operating system that embodies continuous improvement. The goal of WCBS is to meet client needs with the highest quality at the lowest cost in the shortest time. With WCBS we maximize transparency, effective internal communications, and efficiency for all organizational roles.
Continuous improvement is the ongoing effort to close the gap between the current state and the ideal state, to provide the best possible survivor-centered services. This provides value by harnessing the collective efforts of many people toward a common purpose. Each job can be seen as part of a greater process to meet client needs. We recognize how individual staff member’s role is interconnected, and work to break down barriers across departments and other organizational silos.
Within WCBS we expect problems and expect to solve them. We also see problems as a good thing: an opportunity for growth. WCBS creates a culture of safety, because staff feel emotional, physical, and professional safety while bringing up problems.
An important part of WCBS is noting that people are rarely problems—rather, there is likely something in the system that interferes with a person’s ability to do work well.
Some examples of WCBS in action:
- Improvement Boards – a visual representation of improvement opportunities identified by staff
- A3 problem solving – identifying the problem, current condition, target condition, and implementation plan and action steps
- Pre-specified work – each staff member and department creates pre-specified work, which are written steps that outline clear paths to completing all tasks associated with each position, so that it is always clear how to approach a task