IMPORTANT: On July 14, Governor Parson signed into law HB557. All license-exempt facilities must register with DSS by October 12, 2021. Under DSS's proposed, emergency regulations, all licensed and license-exempt residential care facilities and child placing agencies must ensure that background checks on all new and current employees have been completed by March 31, 2022.

What is a Licensed Residential Care Facility?

A licensed residential care facility provides 24 hour care in a group setting to children who are unrelated to the person operating the facility and are unattended by a parent or guardian. Unless your facility qualifies for exemption, you must be licensed by the Children's Division to operate a residential care facility in accordance with Missouri law.

How do I apply for a license?

Follow these steps to apply for a license for residential care facility:



You must first review, and comply with the following, before submitting your application:



You must submit the application and all required documents by email or mail to:

NOTE: Please send application and documents together in one email.


Background Checks

Anyone who has access to children (per proposed 13 CSR 35-71.015) must complete a background check and register with the Family Care Safety Registry..

Are background checks required?

According to proposed 13 CSR 35-71.015, licensed residential care facilities which were in operation on July 14, 2021, background checks must be complete by March 31, 2022. Background checks must be completed on anyone in the facility who has access to children. This includes employees (including owners, managers, and support staff, etc.), officers, contractors, and volunteers.


If you need more information or have additional questions, please call 573-751-4954 for help.