The Children’s Shelter

The Children’s Shelter provides emergency shelter care for Missouri resident children unable to remain in their homes due to a family crisis, issues of abuse and/or neglect. Since opening in 1981, more than 7,200 children have received care through this program. Many of the children are placed here by Missouri Division of Family Services after a hotline call has been made and the investigation reveals that it is not safe for the child to remain in the home. These children remain at the shelter while DFS provides services to the parents, until Family Court can then turn custody of the children back over to the parents.

Other children are placed voluntarily by their parents when the family is experiencing a crisis, such as homelessness, hospitalization or incarceration. Voluntary placement is called Crisis Care, and requires that the parent work with our social work staff on the issues that brought the family to the point of needing assistance. This care is free for families. The goal is for children to be able to be reunited with their family within 30 days.

The Ways We Help

  • Staff and volunteers are trained to support the children as they cope with the issues of grief, loss, separation, abuse and neglect.
  • Clinical social work services are provided by licensed social work staff and include individual, family and group counseling.
  • Children participate in a therapeutic recreation program which includes community outings, Resident Council and group activities designed to build the child’s self-esteem, problem solving and coping skills, and to enhance social and emotional development.
  • Safety group activities are designed to assist children in attaining the critical thinking skills involved in development, understanding and implementation of a personalized safety plan.
  • Case management services identify, refer, and access services for children, including medical and dental.
  • School-aged children continue to attend school and shelter staff provide ongoing tutoring and mentoring to assist with academic or developmental delays.
  • A full-spectrum preschool curriculum provides skills and assesses the developmental level of children under age 6. The theme-based curriculum offers opportunities to build on existing skills and elicit interest from all ages of children.

Additional Service Areas


Emergency & Disaster

Emergency Assistance is an integral part of who we are. We provide aid for the needs of families when resources are devastated by unexpected events.

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Struggling Families

Mitigating poverty, abuse, addiction and other family stressors does not happen overnight. Long-term, sustainable holistic solutions such as the Pathway of Hope program help break the cycles hindering the success of our communities and families.

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Vulnerable Adults

We are motivated by the love of God to help those whose needs present unique challenges. We provide compassionate care without discrimination.

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