Secret Harbor

A Unique Agency Serving an Unmet Need

Secret Harbor is unique among nonprofit agencies that serve children.

Adolescent eyesSecret Harbor doesn’t serve every child. Secret Harbor focuses its mission, resources and energy on a small number of young people who need intensive help because they’ve experienced serious trauma due to abuse and neglect.

  • Unless the problems of children are addressed, these problems grow into very big and much more expensive adult problems – which then tend to iStock_000017331322Medium-teenage girl standing-fliprepeat from one generation to the next. Kids with troubled upbringings can be helped. An investment in a child’s well being today is a wise investment in the community’s long term health.
  • Every child needs caring adults in their lives. The attention, love and hard work of Secret Harbor staff and our foster parents do, in fact, make the difference in a child’s life.
  • Secret Harbor is a lean agency. As many dollars as possible are funneled into direct services to children, youth and families. On average, the agency spends 15% or less on administrative operations. The operating budget of Secret Harbor is a little over $2.7 million.
  • About 80% of revenues are from State reimbursements for service. About 20% of services are funded by the community.
  • Secret Harbor is licensed as a Child Placing Agency by Washington State Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS).
  • Secret Harbor is a small agency that serves a wide geographic area. Secret Harbor serves children in homes in Skagit, Snohomish, Whatcom and Island Counties and accepts DSHS referrals from a six County area that also includes King County Washington.

Who does Secret Harbor serve?

The children, who are referred to Secret Harbor by the State of Washington child welfare system, are among the most challenging young people in the system. Although Secret Harbor can serve younger children, our clients are more typically between age 6 and 18, with most of them preteens and teens. A majority of them have been in the child welfare system for some time.

By the time young people in the child welfare system are referred to Secret Harbor, they’re emotionally devastated and they’ve developed mental health issues and behaviors that make it difficult for them to function safely in general family settings and in the community. Secret Harbor makes sure these challenging young people are not abandoned when their lives appear to be the most bleak and hopeless.

With teams of caring adults and high quality, intensive services, Secret Harbor helps troubled youth cope with their trauma, regain some trust in adults  – and surrounds them with supports that empower them and eventually help them rebuild their lives. Secret Harbor doesn’t give up on these kids. The many successes Secret Harbor has more than justify the investments made in the lives of these kids.

For more information about the agency, see information about Programs and visit the following pages for more information about Secret Harbor:


Our Team

Board of Directors



JobsiStock_000004610164Medium-no background-CROP