How do children end up at Secret Harbor?
With an understanding that birth families do the best they can, there are still too many families who are unable to meet their child’s needs. Family conflicts can be so severe that children must be removed from their own homes by the State of Washington until problems are remedied.
Secret Harbor accepts and succeeds with some of the most challenging children in foster care who come to us when their lives are out of control. The young people referred to Secret Harbor have often been in multiple foster homes. They feel rejected, scared, sad, and angry – and they have developed negative behaviors and mental health issues associated with the trauma they have experienced.
With the help of Secret Harbor’s well-trained and nurturing professionals, along with families that open their hearts and homes to these kids, these young people learn to trust again. They find temporary safety, therapeutic support, positive attention and acceptance. At Secret Harbor, they heal, learn how to laugh again, build healthy relationships and positive connections for their future.
Check out this recent article, featuring Secret Harbor Executive Director Brian Carroll, talking about the foster care crisis: https://crosscut.com/2018/09/foster-kids-trapped-wa-system-collapses
From the very start of their stay with Secret Harbor, young people, with the help of staff and their family, are invited to take ownership in setting and monitoring their own goals. They are asked what they need to be successful, and staff are creative in their approaches to meeting those needs. The goal is to create as normal an environment as possible so that the child is able to transfer what they learn to a more permanent family setting, either returning to family or being adopted.