OYR sign

Holiday Activities!

2021 Festival of Trees Auction Party flyer

2021 Festival of Trees viewing hours

2021 Cookies with Santa flyer

2021 Pulling for a Change Carriage Rides through Downtown Lawrence

Merger Announcement!

We are excited to let you know that O’Connell Youth Ranch and the Children’s Shelter have merged effective November 1. Collectively, we have 80 years of experience we bring together to serve at risk youth and families.

We will be offering Residential Services including; YRC 2 and Emergency Shelter Placements, and Qualified Residential Treatment Services. We have a licensed capacity to serve almost 60 children in residential care in five facilities located throughout Douglas County. While we support the idea that children should be raised in a family setting when safe to do so, we also understand the unique challenges some youth present and are well versed in caring for youth with severe behavior challenges, or extreme mental health needs. Our programming is focused on providing: love, structure, supervision and support and our staff are experts in this field. Many having worked in residential care for decades.

Additionally, we will continue to offer prevention services; including truancy prevention programming, specialized case management, and intensive in-home services to help strengthen families and youth. We aim to be a premier program in our county and state at helping families remain safely together.

Finally, we are excited to expand our services to families who want to foster or adopt. To this end, we can work with kinship families or foster families, and help support you in getting the needed licensure or home studies and background checks completed. This support then continues once placement has been made. We think you’ll find our individualized attention and experienced staff refreshing and able to meet the unique needs foster, kin and adoptive families have. We know foster families and kinship families are a critical link to caring for youth in the foster care system and our aim is to help you be successful so the youth are successful.

Collectively, our staff have 350 years in serving and supporting families. We are guided by a team of professionals in our community that make up our Board of Directors and have a vast network of committed volunteers, donors and others who support us.

You can find out more information about us at: https://www.theshelterinc.org/about-us or https://www.oconnellyouthranch.com, look for a new website to come soon.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us, we exist to serve and be an answer for children, youth and families in our community and our state.

Welcome to O'Connell Youth Ranch

Located just East of Lawrence, KS, O’Connell Youth Ranch (OYR) uses teaching programs wherein youth learn through example, role play, and teaching interactions. Since our start thousands of young men have been placed in this nurturing environment where they find safety, stability, love and structure. OYR prepares children for:

  • Foster Care
  • Adoption
  • Reintegration back with their families
  • A time when they must support themselves

The impact of the services provided by this program touches rural Kansas as well as communities in cities and the suburbs.

Recent News

Front page of O'Connell Youth Ranch September 2021 newsletter