Secret Harbor has a rich history. The agency was on the cutting edge of child welfare practices back in 1947 when the program opened – and Secret Harbor has made a point of remaining on the leading edge of best practices in child welfare today.
Secret Harbor ran a single program – residential treatment for troubled boys – for more than 50 years. The isolated program on Cypress Island was successful at modifying the behaviors of boys. However, the program was less successful at helping young boys retain what they learned when they returned to their families and community settings. In 1998, the agency started a foster care program to offer boys a place to go once their behaviors had improved. The foster care program quickly expanded to serve boys and girls.
In 2005, the Board of Directors decided to sell the valuable island property, giving Secret Harbor the unique opportunity to remake itself in a way that reflects the ‘best practices’ in the field of child welfare. In 2008, the island program closed, replaced by community based group homes. The Family Connections program opened in 2009, giving Secret Harbor the ability to serve families in their own homes.
The children at Secret Harbor – then and today – have exceptional needs that warrant an exceptional response from the community.