About Us


Our Vision

Youth who have suffered trauma can become our future leaders.

Our Mission

UCAN strives to build strong youth and families through compassionate healing, education and empowerment.

UCAN operates under the cornerstones of a consistent presence, meaningful programming and unrivaled diversity. Founded 149 years ago as a Civil War orphanage, we are one of Chicago’s oldest, yet most innovative, social service agencies.

UCAN serves and impacts over 15,000 at-risk children, youth and families across Illinois through programs that create a healing process for youth who have experienced trauma and provide a continuum of care, including the following services:

  • Therapeutic Youth Home
  • K-12 therapeutic day school
  • Clinical and counseling services
  • Transitional and independent living programs
  • Support for pregnant and parenting teens
  • Foster care placement
  • Workforce development
  • Youth leadership development
  • Violence prevention programming

Our Core Values

  • We hold true the belief that healing is possible and that providing care with compassion is essential to our work
  • We challenge all individuals to become advocates for justice
  • We believe that integrity and honesty are the cornerstones of our work
  • We honor the intrinsic value of all people and believe inclusiveness is a strength
  • Providing youth a voice is a personal healing experience as well as a chance to advocate for others
  • Excellence derives from knowledge, hard work and innovation
  • We strive for fairness and equality for our clients and in our workplace
  • Financial viability is necessary and requires control and individual responsibility

Our Contribution

UCAN is widely respected for partner collaboration and strengthening communities and continues these efforts with an exciting campaign that is supporting a bold solution to the violence plaguing Chicago’s communities. Through this campaign, UCAN is building a new state-of-the-art campus on the 3700 block of West Fillmore Street on a seven-acre acre site in the North Lawndale neighborhood. UCAN will contribute to the economic development of the underserved community when it relocates its headquarters to the city’s West Side in 2016. UCAN programming at the new site will address violence in Chicago through the collaborative Peace Hub, which coordinates programs and services across providers to provide intensive support to Chicago’s youth.