We are committed to understanding, recognizing and responding to the effects of trauma. This philosophy is known as trauma-informed care. We believe recovery from extreme stress and adversity requires an environment that promotes healing among all of its members.

Through tools and resources, our staff works with children and families to develop skills and knowledge that will empower them to live safe, productive and non-violent lives inside and outside our organization.

Cornerstones of Care is certified in The Sanctuary Model® of trauma-informed care through the Sanctuary Institute.

Our trauma-informed treatment philosophy is built on the four components of safety:
  • Physical safety: Are you free from violence and physical abuse?
  • Psychological safety: Are you free from emotional abuse and safe within yourself?
  • Social safety: Are you safe to be yourself regardless of the environment you are in?
  • Moral safety: Do you practice healthy values?

Through these pillars, we commit to a safe, therapeutic living and working environment for our children, families, and staff. The focus is not only on the trauma of the individual, but also the capability of the individual to create positive change.

Our Seven Trauma-Informed Commitments - Each commitment is a trauma-related goal for our clients and staff. Together, the commitments help children and families heal from trauma and build healthy relationships.

  • Nonviolence - We understand that hurt people hurt people. Everyone must commit to breaking this pattern by committing to doing no harm.
  • Emotional Intelligence - Individuals and the community commit to identifying and managing emotions and responding to each other in healthy ways.
  • Social Learning - A healing community learns from all of its participants. Information and skills are honored, shared, and celebrated.
  • Open Communication - Transparency builds trust. Everyone in a healing community must be able to “say what you mean without being mean.”
  • Democracy - Everyone has a voice. Trauma often narrows perspectives. By encouraging honest, open dialogue, better decisions can be made. Decision-makers hear all perspectives and communicate reasons why decisions are made.
  • Social Responsibility - In a community, everyone must commit to doing their part to keep the commitments, to speak up, to treat others with respect, and to help each other grown and learn.
  • Growth and Change - The brain has amazing elasticity. Everyone has the opportunity to learn, to grow, and to make different choices.

We organize our treatment and organizational principles based on the S.E.L.F. framework. The road to recovery from trauma and adversity can be a long one. The S.E.L.F. framework focuses staff and clients on four domains of healing:

  • Safety includes the physical, psychological, social, and moral safety of all community members.
  • Emotion Management demonstrates the commitment that emotions should be expressed in ways that are not harmful to self or others. Members of our community develop Safety Plans to identify and encourage self-regulating options.
  • Loss  focuses on recognizing that all change means loss. The community is encouraged to create practices for individuals and groups to deal with losses of various types.
  • Future recognizes that growth and change may be difficult when stuck in the pain of the past. Setting goals, seeking assistance, and celebrating successes are part of building the future.

Using S.E.L.F., the clients, their families, and our staff are able to embrace a shared, non-technical language that allows them all to see and participate in the larger recovery process.

Listen to Our Podcasts on Trauma-Informed Yoga!

KC Raises ACEs Awareness

Kansas City was one of 14 communities across the country selected to join a national learning collaborative called MARC (Mobilizing Action for Resilient Communities). The hope is to:

  1. Raise awareness of the impacts of trauma on the community,
  2. Create a resilient community, and
  3. Collect the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and resiliency baseline data from the nine-county regional area.

ACEs is one of the largest public health studies ever performed. It shows a direct correlation between the number of adversities one experiences during childhood and the increased likelihood of health disparities later in life. By collecting the data in Kansas City, health organizations will have a better understanding of how our citizens are impacted by ACEs. 

KC's ACEs Survey Results