Childhaven. Because Childhood Trauma is Everyone’s Trauma

Childhood trauma and adversity are the root cause of the most urgent and costly problems that plague our children, families, and community.

Over two-thirds of children in the United States are exposed to some form of toxic stress, including domestic or community violence, abuse, neglect, and racism. Children who have adverse childhood experiences carry the affects long into adulthood and have an increased risk of academic challenges, criminal justice involvement, substance abuse, suicide, homelessness, heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.

Our History

For more than a century, Childhaven has been a safe and caring place for children and families in our community.  Founded by Rev. Mark Matthews in 1909 Childhaven, first named Seattle Day Nursery, was founded for single parents who needed a safe place for their children to be during the day, while they worked outside of the home.

In 1965, Childhaven was the first organization to bring Head Start to the west coast, providing a year round preschool program to help prepare young children for school.  In 1977, Executive Director Patrick Gogerty launched an innovative Therapeutic Child Care program to serve children who had experienced trauma, abuse and neglect.  Eight years later, Seattle Day Nursery changed its name to our current name, Childhaven.

“Through the last 100 years, this agency has constantly adapted to meet the needs of the community.”

 ~ Pat Gogerty

“The science around child development has evolved by leaps and bounds since the 1970s. Today our community needs Childhaven to adapt again to better serve more children and families. We must innovate and partner to prevent childhood trauma, fix broken systems, and help develop safe, stable, and nurturing relationships and environments.”

~ Jon Botten (CEO)


Our Philosophy

Our Mission
We partner with parents and community to strengthen families, prevent childhood trauma and its damaging effects, and prepare children for a lifetime of well-being.
Our Vision
All children are safe and healthy; flourishing physically, socially, emotionally, and educationally; well-nurtured by family and community.
Our Values

Our Commitment to racial equity

Childhaven is dedicated to creating and implementing programs and policies that are informed by, and prioritized in response to the experiences, perspectives and needs of children and families of color.  We recognize the multiple levels of systemic inequity that many individuals and communities face everyday.  We, as an organization, choose to look at all forms of oppression through a racial equity lens to ensure that our programs contribute to dismantling barriers to racial justice.

Childhaven is committed to racial equity by fostering inclusiveness, valuing diversity and racial representation, facilitating healing, and promoting avenues to equitable systems by addressing disparities in the workplace, health, and education.  We do this with respect, self-awareness, authentic engagement, and a willingness to learn from one another and our communities.

Our Team

Childhaven is staffed by a dynamic and diverse team of therapists, care coordinators, teachers, and parent partners. Each member of the Childhaven team is dedicated to prioritizing relational health as the antidote to childhood trauma and adversity–within Childhaven and beyond.

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Do you want to make a difference in the lives of children and families in our community? Have a passion for racial equity, social justice, and trauma-informed care? We invite you to join our team of dedicated, caring, and collaborative professionals.

Join Our Team

We Proudly Serve Puget Sound

Childhaven meets families in all places where they live, learn, and play, including: early learning centers, pediatric settings, community centers, elementary schools, and home visits.