Founded in 1979, Binnacle House, formerly known as Hunterdon Youth Services, has spent the last 40 years safeguarding children, strengthening families, and building responsible citizens. What began as an emergency shelter for children in Hunterdon County has expanded into a continuum of care for youth who are not safe with their families of origin.

image of boys served by binnacle house


Residential Care

Each year Binnacle House provides more than 3,000 nights of safe, compassionate care to youth who have been abandoned, abused or neglected.


All of our youth receive individual and group therapy from Licensed Clinicians in addition to informal counseling from our highly skilled Youth Care Workers. Through these encounters youth learn how to cope and overcome the traumas of their past and to embrace pro-social behaviors.


The majority of youth that we serve are behind in meeting their developmental milestones and have not been provided the basic skills necessary to become responsible citizens. Everyday tasks that are often taken for granted must be incorporated into their frame of reference. Examples include: meal preparation, budgeting, banking, laundry, cleaning, hygiene, social interactions, etc.


As appropriate to their age and development, youth are encouraged to seek employment opportunities while in residence at Binnacle House. All of our residents participate in career exploration and learn how to compose a resume and complete an employment application. They also receive coaching on job interviewing skills and participate in interview role plays.


Almost all of our youth have gaps in their academic performance. Many times this is due to multiple placements and the nature of abuse and neglect typified by minimal parental support & guidance in academic pursuits and the fact that it is hard, if not impossible, to focus on learning when you are not safe in your own home. Most of our residents have Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) and many come to us with identified learning disabilities and/or behavioral and developmental issues that impede their academic progress. In partnership with the local school district, Binnacle House works to ensure that all of our youth receive the academic support necessary to make monumental strides in achieving academic excellence.


The family of origin for our youth remain a significant part of our programming. In reality, our end goal is almost always that youth will be able to leave our program reunited in a safe and supportive environment with their family. To facilitate this process, Binnacle House offers family therapy sessions, planned family outings, and the coordination of in-home and reunification services.


Our current emphasis is on boys age thirteen through young adulthood.