Lathrop, Julia Clifford (1858-1932), American social worker, who was a pioneer in the fields of child welfare and public welfare administration. She was born in Rockford, Illinois, and educated at Rockford College and Vassar College. In 1890 she became associated with the social service settlement Hull House in Chicago. Between 1893 and 1909 she served on the Illinois State Board of Charities and helped to raise the standards of care for the handicapped in Illinois county and state institutions. She was responsible for establishing, in 1899 in Chicago, the first juvenile court in the world. In 1912 she was appointed chief of the newly organized Children's Bureau in the United States Department of Labor. Later she was influential in securing passage of the Sheppard-Towner Act of 1921, which provided federal grants-in-aid to states to promote better care for mothers and dependent children. In 1925 she became an advisory member of the Child Welfare Committee of the League of Nations.