Services for children, families, caregivers, and educators

"What happened to the instruction manual? If only every child came with one!"

While we haven't found a cache of manuals, JPA does have a long track record of successfully working with children.

In Real Kids, Real Stories, our goal is to share ideas and approaches with you that can contribute to helping children feel and function better. Please let us know what you think!

Welcome to Real Kids, Real Stories!

JPA focuses on positive relationships. We don’t try to “fix” kids; we build relationships so they can heal. Instead, we harness children’s natural drive to learn, succeed, and to engage in positive relationships, while lowering psychological barriers that impede progress.

To show what we mean, each month we’ll present a new story about a real kid. We’ll share what is called the youth’s “presenting issue” and how we approached it. After the story, you'll find ideas, tips, and lessons you can use in the classroom or living room to build relationships with your students or children.

June's Story

A JPA therapist tells the story of a harrowing moment when teenaged gang members breached school grounds attempting to recruit second graders.


This month's Take Home Tips reminds fathers discipline isn't the only job they have. Being open and present for your kids helps, too.


We are excited to introduce a new monthly feature "Ask Jane" named after our founder, Jane Addams. Each month our clinical and social work teams will answer a question submitted by our readers. We welcome principals, teachers, community social workers, concerned citizens and especially parents to ask about concerns regarding children in school, the community or in your own home.

Please submit your questions to Jane...we can't wait to hear from you!

June 2018 Question:

My children are done with school in two weeks.
Summer can be a difficult time for us. How can I
support them through this period?

Read Jane's advice


Previous Real Kids, Real Stories

May 2018 and Take Home Tips

April 2018 and Take Home Tips

March 2018 and Take Home Tips

Defuse Bullying by Learning Its Dynamics

June 2017 and Take Home Tips

January 2017 and Take Home Tips

December 2016 and Take Home Tips

November 2016 and Take Home Tips

October 2016 and Take Home Tips

September 2016 and Take Home Tips

August 2016 and Take Home Tips

Previous Dear Jane Questions:

May 2018 Question:

I am a mother of two young children whom I love very much, but sometimes the “job”seems overwhelming. I work at home so I can care for them. My husband has a typical nine- to-five job where he often comes home tired. Since I’m with the kids all day while I’m doing my work, I sometimes feel a little resentful and unappreciated, even though I know my family loves me. Am I selfish to want more time to myself or with my husband alone? Does that make me a bad mother?

Ms. H. Frau

Read Jane's advice

April 2018 Question:

I am the parent of three children, Kindergarten to 8th grade. With all the stories in the news about “stranger danger” and the #MeToo movement, for example, sometimes I worry about letting them out of the house. What can I do as a parent to keep them safe?

Read Jane's advice

March 2018 Question:

My 5-year old son likes to play with beads, jewelry, and other girl-related toys. Is that normal? What should I be doing or saying? My neighbor has a daughter the same age who likes trucks and is even a little aggressive. They sometimes play together and seem OK, but I worry about what people will think.

Ms. A. T.

Read Jane's advice

February 2018 Question:

I enjoy good relationships with both my children, ages 5 and 8, but I wonder what I can do to continue to strengthen them as they grow older. I want to be sure they know they can come to me whenever they need to.

Mr. C. P.

Read Jane's advice

I've heard about JPA's 9th Gear Mentoring program from a student who went through it and liked it. I have an 8th grader who's shy and even a little fearful about being thrown in with older kids from different neighborhoods when it's time for 9th grade. What do you mean by "mentoring" and how would a mentoring experience in the summer before high school help my child?

A. Madre

Read Jane's advice

Dear Jane,

I’m a grade school teacher with a lively but well-behaved classroom. Unfortunately, during free time on the playground a few students don’t know when their play becomes too rough or too dominating of other children. This situation not only intimidates the others, it also results in others’ not wanting to play with them. I’ve asked to meet with the parents, but they say it’s my problem and don’t want to come in. What can I do to help them get involved? I don’t want their children to get in trouble or be left out.


Mrs. Henderson

Read Jane's advice

Dear Jane,

My daughter just entered Middle School and has her own phone. As parents, we have set guidelines about usage, social media apps she can download, etc. However, no matter how much I think we’re protecting her, I still know that cyber-bullying can happen. Can you give me any tips on how to talk with her about this issue? Should there be a problem, what are the best ways we can help her work through it, being mindful of not punishing her in the process (i.e. taking away her phone, etc).



Read Jane's advice

Dear Jane,

My daughter, who is 16, appears to be really “down” lately. She is sleeping more than usual since she and her best friend had a fight and has been “a moodier version of herself.” How do I tell the difference between her “just going through normal ups and downs” and being clinically depressed? It seems like “depression” is such a buzzword these days, but I am starting to get concerned. Please help me!

-Mother of a Teenager

Read Jane's advice

Dear Jane,
A girl has taken to calling me “mom” in my classroom. What is that all about? Is it okay? How should I as her teacher respond? Should the administration be involved? What should I think about and do?

Read Jane's advice

Dear Jane,
  • Why are women so prominent in health and childcare fields
    Why aren't there more men?
  • Should I keep my son back a year in Kindergarten?

Read Jane's advice

Dear Jane,

  • How can I as a parent ensure that I maintain healthy disciplinary boundaries when I feel like my kids are out of control?
  • As a concerned adult, how can I help prevent child abuse?

Read Jane's advice

Dear Jane,
  • What can I do to if I see a student being bullied because of his or her perceived sexual and/or gender orientation?”

Read Jane's advice

Juvenile Protective Association
1707 N. Halsted St.
Chicago, IL 60614

Tel: 312.440.1203
Fax: 312.698.6931