JPA Chicago

JPA logo, Juvenile Protective Association, Chicago, Illinois


The mission of the Juvenile Protective Association is to improve the social and emotional well-being and functioning of vulnerable children so they can reach their fullest potential at home, in school, and in our communities. We accomplish this by providing therapeutic counseling services to at-risk children and families, conducting research, sharing knowledge, and providing expert consultation and guidance to others serving them.

jane addams

“America’s future will be determined by the home and the school. The child becomes largely what he is taught; hence we must watch what we teach, and how we live”
~ Jane Addams, JPA Founder


Although Jane Addams came from a well-to-do family, she saw the desperate need of children living in poverty without families or empathetic guidance. Addams and her colleagues founded JPA in Chicago as the Juvenile Protective League in 1901, eventually merging with other organizations to become JPA. From 1907 until the 1940s, JPA conducted and published many studies examining such subjects as racism, child labor and exploitation, drug abuse and prostitution in Chicago and their effects on child development.


JPA offers several local and wider reaching programs and direct services focused on social, emotional, and mental health best practices, including:

  • School-Based Therapy: Play therapy for the 21st Century
  • Connect to Kids: C2K consultation for educational leaders
  • Child Welfare Research & Evaluation: Strengthening services through analysis and data for agencies serving youth
  • Grandmother Program: Community-led elders who support middle school girls
  • New Light: Creative mental health supports that respond to local community needs
  • Internship Program: Building the next generation of therapists