Our History

  1. UCAN’s story begins in the early 1860s at the onset of the Civil War. As men left for service, the members of St. Pauls United Church of Christ made a promise to care for the children of fallen soldiers.

  2. Mr. and Mrs. Carl Gottfried Uhlich announced the donation of a large piece of property to perpetually endow the orphanage home. In March of 1869, the Illinois Legislature approved an act to incorporate the Uhlich Evangelical Lutheran Orphan Asylum.

  3. October 8, 1871 was an unforgettable date for members of St. Pauls and the children of the orphan home, as both buildings felt the rage of the Chicago fire. A year later, a new home was built at Burling and Center streets, which housed boys and girls for the next 56 years.

  4. In 1924, Pastor Pister conducted a campaign for funds to build a new home. Mr. and Mrs. Carl Buehler generously donated 10 large city lots in the 3700 block of North California and ground was broken in 1927.

  5. With establishment of the Illinois Department of Child and Family Services in 1965, Uhlich Children Home's enrollment became almost completely that of wards of the state.

  6. In 2002, Uhlich Children's Home changed its name to Uhlich Children's Advantage Network (UCAN) to reflect the wide variety of services provided, and in 2004, UCAN merged with FamilyCare of Illinois.

  7. Today, UCAN is a multi-faceted social service organization building strong youth and families through compassionate healing, education and empowerment. The meaningful programming UCAN provides meets the critical needs of Chicago's most at-risk populations.