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The Andrus Center for Learning and Innovation (ACLI) is our hub for facilitating a dialogue of ideas between all parties who are concerned with mental health and social service efforts on behalf of vulnerable children and families, including organizational and individual practitioners, funders, policy makers, researchers, and the public. The Andrus Center for Learning and Innovation serves not only to improve the care of children in ANDRUS programs, but also to share with others the knowledge we have acquired after 80 years in the field of mental health and child welfare.

ACLI challenges our entire organization to continue moving forward with cutting edge work and practices while assertively promoting ANDRUS successes to others in our field and assuring that we remain a top-tier service organization.  ACLI’s goal are:

  • To share the depth and breadth of knowledge ANDRUS has acquired in its experience with vulnerable children and families;
  • To provide a forum where information pertaining to vulnerable children and families can be responsibly gathered, shared and disseminated; and,
  • To contribute to the worldwide knowledge base by conducting and supporting cutting edge research on vulnerable children and families.

The five core functions of the Andrus Center for Learning and Innovation include:

1. Professional Training. We provide practice-based courses on areas of expertise cultivated among ANDRUS staff. Professional training on topics such as implementing the Sanctuary Model assists staff from other organizations with growth and development to meet the needs of vulnerable children and families.

2. Program Evaluation and Consultation. We provide customized on-site consultation and support for other organizations in strategic planning, financial management and research data collection and analysis. We also provide expert training for professionals in such areas as implementation of the Sanctuary Model of trauma treatment and staff development.

3. Scholarly Research and Publication. We conduct and support (financially, administratively and operationally) collaborative interdisciplinary research projects in an effort to bring together scholars from diverse disciplinary and methodological perspectives to study related problems or issues that confront families dealing with the mental health of their children.

4. Symposia. We host national and regional symposia to facilitate the presentation and sharing of best practices by experts in the care of children with special needs. All participating institutions, including ANDRUS, benefit from the knowledge diffusion created by this dialogue. The proceedings from many of these symposia are published in journals or books to further the reach of the Center’s programs.

5. Information Sharing. ACLI serves as a virtual resource center for information, research, services, and programs related to vulnerable children and families by providing links to data sources, directories, publications, working papers, professional news and other sites.  This is made possible through our memberships in advocacy organizations like the Alliance for Children and Families.

Through the Andrus Center for Learning and Innovation, we are constantly learning and sharing knowledge to improve the quality of care both in our ANDRUS programs and in those of other organizations beyond our local community.  One of our biggest successes has been the development of the Sanctuary Model® of trauma-sensitive treatment and dissemination of Sanctuary to other organizations through the Sanctuary Institute.