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The National Florence Crittenton Mission

Justice + Joy, previously National Crittenton, was co-founded by Mr. Charles Crittenton, and Dr. Kate Waller Barrett. Born out of a social justice foundation with a commitment to the rights of women, they worked to ensure that they were given the same rights as men - to change their lives, and to support themselves and their families. Mr. Crittenton and Dr. Barrett believed that the most effective way to address compelling social issues was at the local level, consistent with the culture, needs, and context of each community. Our founders understood that local organizations across the country would be stronger through an association with their sister organizations, who together could connect the dots and truly catalyze social change.

Through their advocacy, in 1898, The National Florence Crittenton Mission was established, known today as the Justice + Joy National Collaborative. It was the first charitable organization created through Congressional Charter as the national umbrella to unite the Crittenton agencies. The Crittenton family of agencies have been supporting the needs and potential for cis and trans girls and young women ever since.


Aligning Our Work for the 21st Century

The trustees of Justice + Joy made the decision to leave the auspices of the Child Welfare League of America. This departure marked a reinvention of the then 124-year-old organization as the Justice + Joy National Collaborative. This reinvention was designed to sharpen focus on elevating the needs and potential of girls, young women, and their families whose lives are impacted by violence and childhood adversity.

Today, operating as Justice + Joy, with a family of agencies 25 members strong, a robust advocacy effort including girls, young women and gender-expansive young people of color and agency representatives, innovative programs, and more, Justice + Joy has reinvigorated and strengthened the original model crafted by Mr. Crittenton and Dr. Barrett more than a century ago.

A Rich Legacy of Connections

To search for family members or other people you met through a Crittenton agency such as friends or colleagues, contact the Florence Crittenton Home Reunion Registry. Beginning in 2022 Justice + Joy and the Registry are working in partnership and as a result information provided through the Crittenton Connections portal on this website have been transferred to the Registry.

The Founders


Mr. Charles Crittenton: From Self-Made Millionaire to Social Justice Reformer

Mr. Charles Crittenton was a pioneer and social entrepreneur well ahead of his time. Upon the death of his daughter, Florence, Mr. Crittenton dedicated his energy and his finances toward the “betterment of this needy class,” consisting of girls and women commercially exploited for sex, those escaping violent relationships, single mothers, homeless/abandoned girls, and immigrant women who came to this country with the promise of a husband, only to be betrayed. Mr. Crittenton invested his life and all his wealth in advocating and funding the establishment of National Crittenton, now Justice + Joy, and Crittenton homes across the country to support women committed to changing their lives.

In 1883, self-made millionaire Charles Crittenton opened the first Crittenton home in New York City.

Dr. Kate Waller Barrett: A Feminist Champion for Change

A humanitarian, philanthropist, and social reformer. A strong advocate for girls and young women. While raising six children and opening a shelter for unwed mothers, she managed to obtain her M.D. and Sc.D. In 1895, Dr. Barrett officially joined forces with Charles Crittenton to co-found the National Florence Crittenton Mission, now known as National Crittenton. Together, they established rescue homes for unwed mothers and “prostitutes” across the country. More than 78 Crittenton homes operated in the United States, Mexico, France, China, and Japan at the time of her death.

In 1909, Dr. Barrett became the Mission’s President, and ignited the movement of supporting girls and young women. Her advocacy efforts and leadership also supported girls and young women beyond the walls of the Crittenton homes

Among her many accomplishments she was:

• Voted President of the National Council of Women;

• Appointed as a delegate to the 1924 Democratic National Convention;

• Appointed as special agent of the U.S. Bureau of Immigration for her anti-sex trafficking and system change advocacy, changing the way girls and young women were treated while in custody.

History Dr. Kate Waller Barrett

Our Journey

In response to COVID-19, the economic crisis and social uprisings, National Crittenton and the National Young Women’s Initiatives hosts 16 regional youth led, In Solidarity Conversations with cis and trans young women and gender expansive young people of color.
National Crittenton supports young mothers from seven states in the formation of IMPACT (Invincible Mamas Pushing for Action and Change Together) National Advocacy Alliance.
Successfully advocated for the inclusion, Families First Prevention Services Act, of expectant and parenting youth as an eligible population for prevention services and residential care.
The first In Solidarity We Rise: Healing, Opportunity and Justice for Girls gathering is held in Washington, D.C. The second gathering is held in 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia Charles Crittenton and Kate Waller Barrett’s families are both represented on the Board of Trustees for the first time since 1909.
Successfully advocated for the inclusion in the Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act of the unprecedented requirement for states to report the numbers of expectant and parenting youth in foster care.
National Crittenton creates and operates the OJJDP National Girls Initiative focusing on catalyzing change for girls in and at-risk of entering the juvenile justice system across the country.
The first administration of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) survey is conducted in 18 Crittenton agencies in 17 states with more than 1,000 participants. Data provides the foundation for a Hill event on ACEs and young mothers in 2012.
TNCF and Rights4Girls co-found the Girls at the Margin National Advocacy Alliance as is an affiliation of local, state, and national organizations and advocates working across systems to address the complex issues confronting girls and young women.
TNCF, Crittenton agencies and young women leaders launch their return to national advocacy in Washington, D.C. working together to advance justice for system impacted girls and young women in communities across the country.
Marks the launch of the re-invention of the organization as The National Crittenton Foundation (TNCF) with fulltime staff and a home office in Portland, Oregon.
The National Florence Crittenton Mission leaves the auspices of the Child Welfare League of America to re-envision itself and to invest in girls and young women.
FCAA merges with Child Welfare League of America (CWLA). The National Florence Crittenton Mission continues to provide financial support to the Crittenton division of the CWLA.
Florence Crittenton Association of America (FCAA) is founded as the professional association for Crittenton agencies.
Seventy-eight agencies exist in five countries: United States, Mexico, France, Japan, and China.
A special act of Congress signed by President McKinley grants a national charter to the National Florence Crittenton Mission. This charter is amended in 1903.
Dr. Kate Waller Barrett joins Charles N. Crittenton as the driving force behind the establishment and expansion of the Crittenton social welfare movement.
Mr. Crittenton purchased and boarded the “Good News” Train to travel across the country catalyzing local support for girls, young women, and women in need and donating funds for the creation of Crittenton homes across the country
Charles N. Crittenton opens the Florence Night Mission in New York City on April 19, 1883. The “Mother Mission” is dedicated to serving only women and girls.