News & Views - Jul, 2000 Issue #71
Brian Carroll, MSW, Executive Director
June 23, 2000
Secret Harbor School has been engaged in an ongoing development
process for the last several years. Founded in 1949 on Cypress Island, the all-boy residential treatment program now serves 29 youth
between the ages of 11 and 18 who have been unsuccessful in their school, family and social lives, and, who have not responded to
community-based interventions. Our residents generally come with a combination of learning problems, disturbed behavior and, some
degree of underlying mental health concerns. The majority of our residents also have abused drugs and/or alcohol to some degree. Thus,
we provide professional chemical dependency treatment for all willing residents.
Because of the significant substance abuse histories of some of
our residents, we added the Macdonald Cottage in 1998. This separate program (also on Cypress Island) provides an intimate setting
for up to four young men who have succeeded in the regular residential program, and, who have made a commitment to substance abuse
recovery. This intensive program is based on a 12-step model, includes group and individual sessions on a daily basis, and is staffed
with three state-certified Chemical Dependency Counselors, in addition to the regular Child Care Worker staff.
Also in 1998, Secret Harbor School reorganized the Transition House
from group care to a special foster care model. This home, located in the town of Anacortes, serves three boys who have completed
their goals in the residential program and are ready for community-based living but continue to require a supportive environment.
In 1999, Secret Harbor School celebrated its 50th anniversary through
various events within the local community. Of special note, we hosted a very successful conference, in September of 1999, which focused
on trauma in children. Watch for news of our “Second Annual Conference” to be held on September 13th and 14th of this year. Our theme
is “Resiliency” and we will examine the ways by which children have successfully overcome difficult backgrounds and disabilities to
Doug Chandler, MSW joined the Secret Harbor School Team in March
2000 as the Director of Residential Services. Mr. Chandler provides clinical direction and leadership for all three of the above-described
residential programs drawing from his background in psychiatric and group home residential care, as well as community-based case management.
Also in March of 2000 Beth Woolley started in a new role for the organization. As Community Relations Manager Ms. Woolley provides
a link between the management practices of Secret Harbor School and the communities and individuals we serve.
Secret Harbor School launched a regional foster care program in
1997. Starting out with one foster home operated by our current director, Judy Conner, Foster Care Resources now boasts over 20 homes
and serves between 30 and 40 children at any given time. As the number of homes and children served has grown, so has our professional
and support staff – ensuring that the quality of care has only improved during this developmental period of the program.
Secret Harbor School has made great strides in the past several
years towards our ongoing goal of providing excellent and relevant care to our traditional clientele, adolescent boys, and, our goal
of serving our broader community through innovative programs. And, we are looking forward to other enhancement projects within our
organization. So, stay tuned….
Copyright © 2000, Woodbury Reports, Inc. (This article may be reproduced
without prior approval if the copyright notice and proper publication and author attribution accompanies the copy.)