Beacon Therapeutic and UCAN have long shared a similar vision: the youth are the future.
Now, the two are finally coming together to achieve that vision.
As of July 1, UCAN has expanded its educational footprint to include Beacon Therapeutic Diagnostic and Treatment Center’s two therapeutic schools, located in Beverly and south suburban Calumet Park. The expansion included around 50 Beacon staff who are now UCAN employees and about 100 students.
“We are pleased to be able to provide a sense of continuity for Beacon’s students, staff, and their families,” Zach Schrantz, CEO of UCAN, explains.
The transition was logical, Schrantz adds, as UCAN’s therapeutic school, UCAN Academy, and Beacon Therapeutic serve a similar student population and share many services and goals.
Beacon Therapeutic was founded in 1968 as a private school by parents on Chicago’s South Side who wanted a better education for their children. Over the next 40 years, it evolved into servicing the community by providing programs and services to further their mission: “to empower children and families by helping them discover a better future through education, mental health and social services.”
In 2012, Beacon Therapeutic was the largest provider of mobile mental health services via their Homeless Outreach Program. They also provided outpatient mental services for at-risk youth and their families, through wraparound services such as case management, therapy and ancillary services.
Due to federal and state funding reductions, by March 2017 only Beacon’s two therapeutic schools were still in service. UCAN was approached with the idea of absorbing the remaining schools, as it was an obvious fit and best potential solution.
“It’s still a loss. It’s a loss to the city. It’s a loss to the Beverly community,” Schrantz adds, noting Beacon’s years of service. However, he is glad UCAN was able to adopt the schools.
As Beacon’s schools are integrated into UCAN, names and programs will likely change. The Beverly campus is located near UCAN’s Western Avenue office, which will facilitate a relationship between UCAN and Beacon’s students and families.
“Having a strong South Side presence is good for our organization overall,” Schrantz says, “Our number one goal is to offer the best education to Beacon students in the same supportive, professional and nurturing environment that exists at [UCAN] Academy.”