Perspective View: The Thriving Mission

SaintA’s mission is to facilitate equity, learning, healing and wellness. 

This mission is fulfilled through an array of services and support for the people in our care. In 2020, we offer mental health, foster care, child welfare, training, and community-based programs that serve 5,000 people each day, throughout southeastern Wisconsin and beyond.

And while the words of our mission statement have definitely changed over SaintA’s 170 years of existence, the spirit of this mission – to create the potential for thriving children, strong families and vibrant communities – has been a NorthStar for SaintA over many decades.

The most transformational effort in recent agency history to create thriving is SaintA’s trauma-informed model of care. In 2008, we developed Seven Essential Ingredients, to serve the people in our care, and the communities where we serve, with a trauma-informed philosophy and practice.

Our model draws on powerful research findings in the fields of neuroscience, child development, traumatology and resilience.  We deeply value the teaching and influence that Dr. Bruce Perry of the Neurosequential Network has provided over 12 years of time.

Learn more here about SaintA’s trauma-informed journey and the training, coaching and consultation we offer.

How does the Seven Essential Ingredients model of trauma-informed care create thriving? It affirms that we understand the prevalence and impact of trauma, and we therefore engage and offer services and support so people can learn, and heal, and thrive. And we elevate this trauma-informed perspective through the lens of equity. 

We learned very early in our trauma-informed journey that you cannot teach about trauma without considering the impact of historical and generational trauma. We have embraced this understanding in our commitment to equity and inclusion, and in our efforts to address bias and disproportionality.

Yet, at times, thriving can be an audacious goal.  We believe it is both audacious and essential, as we support people like Diane in her journey to thrive.

Diane is a young mom who is struggling. COVID19 has made things even tougher for her family. Now unemployed and recently evicted, Diane and her two young children are bouncing between friends’ and relatives’ homes.  Trying to keep food on the table and maintain patience in the face of so much adversity, Diane got housing assistance and food certificates as elements of the care she receives at SaintA. Finding a new job is part of her plan, too.

To thrive, most of the people in our care need support in the Five Pillars of Stability, SaintA’s framework to address root cause and social determinants of health. We screen and support each family we serve by assessing the five pillars, which are education, employment, health, housing, and caring connections.  When an area of need in any of the pillars is identified, we offer direct support or a warm hand off to community resources, to shore up the stability that helps increase the family’s prospects for thriving.

Trauma-informed care is not just for professionals like the 55,000+ social workers, teachers and law enforcement officers we have trained. For all of us, being trauma-informed can mean being compassionate when you hear someone’s life story and being curious enough to seek to understand their hopes and dreams. All of us can be trauma-informed change agents. 

For our family, our friends, and our community, when we practice compassion and curiosity, we bring healing and hope and advance the possibility of thriving.

Please come along on our trauma-informed journey by joining in the spirit of SaintA’s thriving mission.


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