Our Story

Safe Harbor was founded by Executive Director Bill Meenk in 2006, and has been serving California's foster children since that time. Our mission is to provide a safe environment where children can heal, experience the love of a family and prepare for a more positive future. With an office in Modesto, CA, we're able to serve families throughout California's Central Valley. Safe Harbor is a growing agency whose greatest strength lies in our families.  Our foster parents are amazing, selfless people who sacrifice for kids every day.  We would love to talk with you about joining this group of superheroes!


Safe Harbor has been nationally accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF), and is an active member of the foster parent communities in Stanislaus and San Joaquin Counties.


In 2018, Safe Harbor formed a partnership with Parents by Choice, a similar agency with a shared mission. Together, our agencies are able to serve more families and youth through programs such as Adoption, Intensive Services Foster Care and Transitional Housing for former foster youth. We are excited about new opportunities for foster families that are available through this partnership!

Find out more

The Safe Harbor Team

Debbie Shepherd

Debbie is our Administrative Manager, and has been part of the Safe Harbor team since 2006, after spending many years in the foster care world prior to that time.  Her email is DShepherd@safeharborfamilyservices.org

Elena Sweet

Elena is our Social Work Supervisor who has been part of the Safe Harbor team since 2016.  She has a Master's degree in Social Work from Arizona State University. Elena says:  "As a Hispanic, I am fluent in Spanish and a strong advocate of the Latino community. I enjoy the work that I do as the children and families that we are privileged to interact with make a positive impact on our agency and in my own life. “  Her email is ESweet@safeharborfamilyservices.org

Suzanne Lindsay-Vasquez

Suzanne is a social worker who has been part of the Safe Harbor team since 2017.  She has a Master's degree in Counseling Psychology.  Suzanne says: "I work at Safe Harbor because I love being part of the team to help foster youth and families pursue and reach their goals. My heart is touched by the resilience and courage I am surrounded by every day!" Her email is SVasquez@safeharborfamilyservices.org

Ashley Jackson

Ashley is a social worker who has been part of the Safe Harbor team since 2017, but has worked with foster families for a number of years.  She has a Master's degree in Counseling Psychology.   She says: "My goal is to assure that every foster parents knows how invaluable they are to the future of our youth and community. As a former foster/adoptive parent, I understand the responsibility of that is placed upon our foster parents shoulders and it brings me joy to support them along the way."  Ashley's email is AJackson@safeharborfamilyservices.org

Jennifer Baeza-Petersen

Jennifer is a social worker who has been part of the Safe Harbor team (for the second time) since 2017.  She also interned at Safe Harbor in 2011-2012. Jennifer has a Master's degree in ___.  Her email is Jbaeza@safeharborfamilyservices.org

Felisha Brody

Felisha has been with Safe Harbor since 2014.  She has held a variety of administrative positions, and is currently the agency's bookkeeper.  She can be reach at fbrody@safeharborfamilyservices.org