Secret Harbor Programs
Residential Treatment takes place in community-based homes where up to six troubled youth reside in family-like settings with 24-hour supervision by caring, qualified staff. Treatment plans focus on what supports and interventions can be put into place by staff to help each youth self-regulate their emotions and behaviors on a daily basis and obtain the life skills they need to move to a less restrictive setting. Goals emphasize the youth’s strengths rather than their deficits. Interventions are targeted for use in school, at the home and in the child’s family home.
Foster Care Resources, a therapeutic foster care program includes recruitment, licensing and specialized training of foster families who are then provided tremendous ongoing support. Essentially, the model of care offers foster families regular attention and every resource they need so that the children in their care can heal, grow and succeed.
The Family Connections In-Home Support Program operates on the premise that children and youth should reside in their own families whenever possible, and resources should be provided to those families to help them be successful. The program helps young people successfully reunite with their families following an out-of-home placement and helps other families avoid out-of-home placements altogether.
Goals in each program include: Developing healthy relationships; learning good decision making and avoiding risky behaviors; performing competently at school; being socially adept at an age appropriate level; and recovering emotionally/mentally to break the cycle of abuse and become a functioning adult. The ultimate goal is to find each child a safe, nurturing and permanent home where they can succeed.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
Secret Harbor serves children who have been neglected and abused. Their needs are great. Secret Harbor provides many supplemental, yet essential services to youth, over and above what the State covers to feed, clothe and house children in our care. Secret Harbor seeks community funding to help pay for services such as 24-hour crisis response, respite care, case management, psychiatric assessments and counseling, community advocacy, tutoring, transportation support and recreation opportunities.
In 2011, Secret Harbor facilitated 7 adoptions and reunited 6 children with a portion of their biological family. One example follows: Brother and sister - Maria, age 7, and Julio, age 4 - arrived at Secret Harbor in 2009 after they were removed from the custody of their single mother because of long term neglect due to her drug addiction. The mother was subsequently arrested, convicted on drug charges and sent to prison. During mom’s incarceration, Maria and Julio resided with foster parents specially trained by Secret Harbor so that they could deal with the childrens’ emotional trauma related to their disruption and feelings of abandonment. Secret Harbor staff made weekly visits to the home, provided 24-hour crisis support, offered transportation to recreation, purchased needed supplies, was a liaison for the family in the schools, and provided monthly respite care for the family. In 2011, the birth mother’s parental rights were terminated by the courts, and the search began for a ‘forever home’ where Maria and Julio could live permanently with caring parents. Finding a home for siblings age 10 and 7 can be difficult. However, Secret Harbor, working with the State, found an out-of-state family who enthusiastically adopted both children.