How do I go about helping my loved one secure a place in a home with Austen-Dooley?
Call Executive Director Kendra Shoop at 816-347-8184 and she will walk you through the process.

 What is residential care?

Residential care is a long-term care option for the developmentally disabled. Residential care means a person lives in an agency owned group home or ISL (individualized supported living) with 2-6 other individuals with disabilities. They can receive up to 24-hour support and supervision. Residential care is different from in-home care, in that in-home care allows a person to remain in their own home, and personal care assistants come to the home for a set number of hours a day.

Residential care is an option for individuals with disabilities needing specialized care above and beyond what in-home care can offer and/or as a person grows and begins to seek independence. It gives people an opportunity to receive the care they need from dedicated, trained direct support professionals. It can often give parents a chance to feel like a parent again and not a caretaker. In a group home or ISL, people may receive up to 24 hours of care from DSP’s (direct support professionals) and CNA’s, or LPN’s and RN’s, depending on the level of care needed. Staff provide specialized care and encourage independence. They help them with activities of daily living like grooming, housekeeping, meals, and transportation. Those living in residential care remain a part of a community, socializing, and developing a routine.

 Where do I start?

In Missouri, the first step when considering residential placement is to contact the regional office for the Missouri Department of Mental Health’s Division of Developmental Disabilities. The Kansas City Regional Office phone number is 816-889-3400. If living elsewhere in Missouri, the Missouri Department of Mental Health website,, has a tab titled “Developmental Disabilities.” In addition to other great information, there is a bulleted menu with an option titled “Regional Offices.” A drop-down county menu provides phone numbers for all Missouri regional offices.

The first point of contact at the Regional Office is intake. They will ask questions over the phone to begin the application process. It is very important to be as honest and detailed as possible about the care needed and why as this will determine if your loved one qualifies for assistance and how much he or she qualifies for. If qualified, the individual will receive a service coordinator/case manager who will aid in developing an individual service plan and searching for support options and agencies.

 Health and nutrition?

Our direct support professionals follow individual service plans. They are required to document services to ensure quality and consistent care. Many of our homes follow a daily menu to ensure proper nutrition and provide a variety of meals based on the individual’s preferences and dietary needs and/or restrictions.

 Personal Life?

Our direct support professionals are here to help your loved one live their life to the fullest, encouraging them to set and reach goals while staying connected to the community, friends, and family.

We provide transportation to medical appointments, day programs, and personal outings.

 Other Resources

Here are some links with more helpful information:

How to Calm a Child with Autism

Create a Sensory Safe Yard for Children with Special Needs

Sensory Processing Treatments

Estate Planning for Parents of Kids with Autism

Classroom Accommodations for Kids with Sensory Issues

Moving with Special Needs Kids



We are now seeking direct support and nursing team members for both full and part time positions as we prepare for growth and the opening of new homes. If you like working with others and enjoy serving the needs of the developmentally disabled… this job is for you!

Rewarding work with a great company.