Collier Youth Services Celebrates Sanctuary Certification as first residential program in NJ

Collier Youth Services Celebrates Sanctuary Certification as first residential program in NJ
Posted on 04/28/2016
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On April 22, 2016, Collier Youth Services was presented with their certificate confirming their status as a Sanctuary Certified organization. The certification came after Collier’s four years of dedication and commitment to the Sanctuary Model, a trauma-informed method of working with individuals with a deep history of trauma in their lives. Collier Youth Services has been using the Sanctuary Model with the young women who live in their two residential homes in Monmouth County, NJ. Collier is the first residential programs in New Jersey to become Sanctuary Certified by the Sanctuary Institute, a division of ANDRUS.

Sanctuary Core TeamTo celebrate this achievement, Collier Youth Services hosted a ceremony at the Collier Group Home in Red Bank, NJ, where they received their certification from Maxine Reddy, Collier’s Faculty Advisor from the Sanctuary Institute at ANDRUS.  Among the attendees were Red Bank Mayor Pasquale Menna, the Honorable Mary Pat Angelini, Collier Board Members, and the Collier Sanctuary Core team—a group of staff members who played a crucial role in implementing Sanctuary core values in Collier’s residential programs.

Sr. Debbie and Paul with Red Bank Mayor MennaThe event commenced with a few words by Collier Youth Services Executive Director, Sr. Debbie Drago, who praised the hard work of Collier Staff and residents, a sentiment echoed by Paul DeSantis, Director of Residential Programs. Mr. DeSantis explained how the Sanctuary Process has helped Collier staff to better address and care for their residents, which results in their residents becoming safer and healthier. “Nothing makes me more proud than having one of our girls reunified with their family,” stated an emotional Mr. DeSantis.

The joyous event concluded with closing words from Mayor Menna who stated just how important residential programs such as Collier Group Home are to not only the residents but also to the communities. He recalled how crime levels have drastically decreased and community involvement has increased since Collier Group Home has taken up residence in Red Bank. “I see the [residents] out in the neighborhood every day—walking, sitting outside talking,” Mayor Menna said, which for this population is a huge step in the right direction. 

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