Our comprehensive approach helps children and families break the cycles of poverty and illness.

Children’s Place Association provides critical assistance to children and their families in four key areas of impact: health, education, family stability and financial stability.

Early Childhood Education

Early education is vital for a child’s future achievement, yet low-income families often lack access to early learning opportunities, especially those with children facing illness or disabilities. Children’s Place offers center-based and home-based early education initiatives. Both provide extremely vulnerable children with specialized care, high-quality curricula and wrap-around services. Nearly 200 children are served by these programs annually.

The Arthur E. Jones Early Childhood Care and Learning Center

Since 1998, the Arthur E. Jones Early Childhood Care and Learning Center (ELC) has served the developmental needs of children. Originally opened for children affected by HIV/AIDS, the Center now serves many low-income children, ages six weeks to five years old, whose families are challenged by various health conditions and disabilities.

The majority of families we serve are single-parent households with a family member (adult and/or child) facing a serious health condition. Our program is one of Chicago’s only early education centers with on-site health services, including a full-time registered nurse who coordinates screening and special therapies. Our staff and teachers also deliver specialized curriculum, customized to meet the needs of each individual child. Despite numerous challenges, 100% of children graduating from our Center are fully prepared for kindergarten.

Home-Based Early Education

Home visits advance parents’ skills as primary educators and promote the healthy growth of children from birth to three years old. This initiative targets low-income families unable to access center-based care. We provide a variety of services: developmental and emotional screenings, monthly infant health checks by a registered nurse, nutrition assessments and life-skills education for parents.

“I am the first person in my family to graduate from high school and the first to go to college…. I’m so thankful to Children’s Place for helping me throughout my life. They are a big reason why I have a bright future.”

former Children’s Place client (Residential Center and Summer Camp); graduated from college in 2015


“Child Thrive is a transformational extension of the Children’s Place Association mission. Community stakeholders and service partners coming together to serve our greatest asset, our children.” – Maurice Fears, Sr. – Children’s Place Chief Initiatives Officer 

Child Thrive is a geographically focused new collaborative initiative based in West Humboldt Park – a high-need area on Chicago’s westside struggling with gun violence and the impact of structural racism. This initiative is led by Children’s Place in partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters, JPA (Juvenile Protective Association), Rush University Medical Center and West Humboldt Park Development Council. The goal is to help transform this westside community from one of the harshest places to be a child into a neighborhood where every child can thrive by expanding resources in this underserved neighborhood. 

The new Child Thrive Resource Center offers youth mentoring, trauma-informed mental health services, access to primary care, after-school programs and summer mini-camps. The initiative will also provide economic development in the area, addressing abandoned or derelict properties on West Chicago Avenue in order to promote safety and investment. Contact: Kelsey Kruel – kkruel@childrens-place.org 

Mental Health Services
JPA will provide a full-time Masters’ level therapist on site 4-5 days per week to improve mental health and address trauma experienced by children and families as a result of community violence. Individual and group sessions, along with support groups will be offered. 

Access to Quality Primary Care – Dr. Margaret Scotellaro
A board-certified pediatrician from Rush University Medical Center – will provide health/wellness services to children and parents at the Center one-half day per week. Mentoring for Pre-Teens – Big Brothers Big Sisters will lead an evidence-based mentoring program for pre-teens at the Center aimed at reducing the risk of gun violence and threats to community safety by increasing pro-social behavior in youth ages 9-13.

WeROCK Program
Led by our partner, JPA, the WeROCK summer program offers creative and educational projects for 3rd & 4th graders that spark children’s imagination and desire to learn.

Check out our upcoming schedule HERE.

Child and Family Support Services

At Children’s Place Association, we work with families confronting serious health conditions and economic disparity.  Our comprehensive services help parents and their children develop the strategies, life skills and supports needed to overcome challenges so they can lead healthy, successful lives.  Our Family and Community Services include:

Case Management

Case Managers and Family Support Specialists assess families’ needs and connect them to services and resources. They are advocates for our clients, helping them obtain emergency assistance, housing, medical care and educational resources for children.

Mental Health Counseling

Individual and group counseling helps children, parents and other family members learn coping skills to address emotional challenges, often related to trauma and serious illness. We offer targeted support groups for parents and teens.

Lucy R. Sprague Summer Camp

Our Lucy R. Sprague Summer Camp is a four-week day camp for youth whose lives are impacted by family illness. The camp provides a place for children to enjoy summer, build lasting friendships and learn about healthy living.

Throughout the year, Children’s Place also hosts recreational and social events for client families, providing safe, nurturing and fun environments for children and adults to connect with a supportive network of their peers.

Supportive Housing

Children’s Place provides subsidized apartments and supportive services for families facing health issues and housing insecurity. With the opening of our new West Humboldt Place building in October 2015, we now provide furnished apartments for 20 families.  The program includes a dedicated case manager and other supportive services to help vulnerable families stabilize, improve their health, access education and job training and work towards self-sufficiency.

Foster Care and Adoption

Children’s Place Association believes strongly in keeping families together, making every effort to support the parent/child relationship. However, in situations of child abuse or neglect, foster care placement often becomes necessary.

Our program matches children with capable, loving foster parents who are trained by our organization to care for each child’s specific needs. For children unable to return to their birth families, Children’s Place also facilitates adoption. The majority of foster children we serve also have special needs, including medical conditions and behavioral health issues.

As a Licensed Adoption Agency with the State of Illinois, we have made the 2020 Adoption Annual Report available here:

Become a Foster Parent

Children’s Place is looking for adult couples and individuals willing to open their homes and hearts to a child in need. We seek parents who will offer the stability, guidance and love every child needs to develop and thrive. If you are interested in becoming a foster parent, please contact Rochelle Curry at 312-706-1839.

“My life could have gone in a different direction – not such a good direction…. Thank you Children’s Place for being the base of who I am and for helping jump-start me into the life I live now.”

former Children’s Place client (Residential Center and Early Learning Center); graduating from college in 2017

Children’s Place International

Children's Place International Website

Since 2007, Children’s Place International has worked with partner organizations in developing countries to build a better future for children facing illness and extreme poverty. We impact the lives of the world’s most vulnerable children through improved access to healthcare, nutrition, education and local capacity building.

In 2015, Children’s Place International adopted a new three year strategy with an ambitious goal: change the life trajectories for 25,000 children in the Caribbean and Southern Africa. Our plan calls for harnessing the resources of Chicago and the Midwest to create long-term changes.