Self Advocates and Families for Excellence (SAFE)

Self Advocates and Families for Excellence (SAFE) is a statewide volunteer organization consisting of people with developmental disabilities / self advocates and family members of people with developmental disabilities.

Trained SAFE volunteers work in conjunction with the MO Department of Mental Health – Division of Developmental Disabilities (D-DD) to help gather information directly from individuals with developmental disabilities about the services and supports they receive; how individuals with developmental disabilities feel about their lives; and to help determine the presence of the Missouri Quality Outcomes in their lives.

Volunteers will work together with the Division to complete face-to-face interviews using a standardized survey tool with randomly chosen individuals who receive a division and/or waiver funded residential and/or day habilitation service. The standardized survey tool the volunteers will use was created and developed around the 16 Missouri Quality Outcomes that were identified for individuals.

The Division values hearing directly from individuals with developmental disabilities who are receiving services and is committed to working with individuals and family members to gain that important information. The information gathered for SAFE will be obtained directly from individuals by individuals and family members.

Findings from the surveys will be used by the Division to mark trends; evaluate the quality of services being provided to individuals; and to initiate changes /enhancements in the system, where needed.

If you would additional information on the SAFE Initiative, please contact 

Lisa Nothaus at or 573-368-2589.