Butterfly Haven, Inc.

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Meet Butterfly Haven’s Founder

Maria A. Larsen is a paralegal, mom, and the executive director of Butterfly Haven. 

Before she began fostering, Maria was volunteering and helping families in need. She began providing relief and crisis care for children and families who had nowhere else to turn. Becoming a foster parent was a natural next step.

Maria was a foster parent for 16 years.  During that time she welcomed and cared for over 300 children through the State of Missouri and contract agencies. Each one of those children holds a special place in her heart.

Maria has experience providing care for children who are considered by agencies to have a variety of health or behavioral problems, as well as children in crisis situations.   She learned first-hand how difficult it is to navigate governmental agencies and how imperative it is to receive assistance in certain cases where there is a medical or special need.

“Meeting these basic needs aren’t only a financial relief to foster parents, but it helps the parents be present and in the moment and focused on the children - not worrying about this or that. 

Everything Butterfly Haven does is to make sure these kiddos receive the love and care they need and deserve.” — 

Maria A. Larsen, Executive Director

Our story...

Butterfly Haven was founded in 2006 as an outreach. Maria A. Larsen, founder and executive director, had been fostering children for about three years at the time.


On her journey as a foster mom, she quickly realized that foster families were on their own. A new child was introduced and then it was up to the foster family to make sure that child received all of the help he or she needed. This included recognizing needs, fulfilling those needs, and finding qualified professionals when needed.

For someone like her, who hadn’t been the sole caregiver for a child before, fostering a child with nontraditional needs meant navigating a whole new world without a roadmap or even a compass.  

Maria began forming connections between herself and other foster families she met along the way. Exactly as she thought, she wasn’t the only foster parent who was wishing for a little support and direction. She began comparing notes and paying attention when a professional was recommended for a certain issue.

Soon, she had developed a list of foster-friendly professionals who had experience with children in foster care. She also began noticing that many of these children were having similar problems. So not only could she offer a referral, but she could offer experience-based advice.

The network of families grew until Maria decided it was time to give it a name. Butterfly Haven was born.

Maria began receiving donations of things like clothes, baby equipment, furniture, and other things that many of the children placed in foster care need in a hurry. From the beginning, she had prepared care bags for each child. Each bag contained age-appropriate items, such as coloring supplies and a stuffed animal for younger children, or a journal and toiletries for older children. To date, over 350 children have received a care bag from Butterfly Haven.

In 2015, Butterfly Haven, Inc. received its 501(c)(3) nonprofit status.

In May of 2016 Butterfly Haven moved to a small office space in Overland, Missouri and opened their Resource Room with a Great Room for children's activities.  In less than a year Butterfly Haven began serving an abundant increase of children and families.  This accelerated growth caused the organization to rapidly outgrew their office space making it abundantly clear that they would need to expand in order to serve the number of families that we helped.  In February 2017, Butterfly Haven moved to their current location in Suite #6.

Butterfly Haven's goal for 2019 is to be able to provide children that enter foster care with brand new  pajamas and personal items in an effort to make the transition of required out of home placement a little less traumatic.   Butterfly Haven also launched "ReFuel" that helps support Foster Parents with family care with the goal of minimizing placement disruptions and emotional "burn out".  Butterfly Haven expanded our office space to include a conference room and training center.

If you would like to get involved we would love to talk to you about ways that you, your family, co-workers, churches, organizations, schools, civic groups, and friends become a part of #MakingMomentsMatter.  It is what Butterfly Haven is all about!


2138 Woodson Rd.

Suite #6

Overland, Missouri 63114



Message Only



By Appointment Only


Butterfly Haven, Inc. thrives because of VOLUNTEERS & DONORS!