Transitional Living Program

fteenage girlsUCAN's Transitional Living Program (TLP) has eight locations that serve youth between the ages of 17 ½ to 21 who are under the care of the Illinois Department of Children & Family Services. The program aims to assist youth in a supervised and structured setting to enhance their skills in developing healthy, supportive relationships and reaching self sufficiency. Individualized services are provided to assist young adults with gaining the skills needed to become educated, empowered and able to sustain themselves financially and emotionally prior to or at emancipation.

UCAN's TLP serves youth that are categorized into three groups:

  •  Youth age 19 or older with an emphasis on transition to emancipation with an anticipated stay of 12-24 months
  • Youth age 18 or older with an anticipated length of stay of 12-18 months preparing to transition into an Independent Living Arrangement or emancipation
  • Youth between the ages of 17 ½ to 21in our specialty program for pregnant and parenting teens that do not fit into the other two groups previously listed

Each TLP site is broken up into apartments designed to specifically house youth in one of these three categories to ensure peer support since these youth will be experiencing the same kinds of life occurrences at the same time. Each site also has a house parent who performs 24 hour supervision and lives onsite to simulate a family environment. The house parent makes personal home visits each day and spends time teaching clients everything from household cleaning to budgeting. A community approach is taken, which has been effective in providing youth with the support to establish educational and vocational goals and in teaching life skills. Many of UCAN's Transitional Living Program (TLP) youth transfer into Independent Living Arrangements (ILA); usually this process begins six months prior to emancipation.

All of our TLP clients are attending or are willing to attend school or vocational training programs in pursuit of a high school diploma, GED or other specialized vocational certification. Clients have case managers who meet with them weekly, as well as in-house therapists who assist with client engagement, making sure mental health needs are being met and that addiction assistance is provided if needed.

For our pregnant and parenting clients, Child and Family Support (CFS) is an essential component of the Transitional Living Program. Approximately 70% of our clients have children of their own. The CFS team serves our clients and their children through a series of comprehensive assessments and interactive parenting approaches, utilizing individual sessions to ensure child development is progressing as it should. The CFS staff is also focused on preventing our clients' children from also becoming wards of the state, and works to do this by providing a supportive environment in which our young parents can gain the skills, maturity and confidence to become effective, nurturing parents.

The Transitional Living Program's in-house clinical services are designed to serve youth in a holistic manner, and services are based on our Clinical Philosophy. TLP Housing Coordinators promote support, assistance and guidance for planning for future housing and reducing the risk of homelessness. UCAN's Alumni Service Program is offered for TLP youth who are in need of additional support post emancipation.

The TLP team understands the impact of trauma upon our youth, and staff place great importance in mental health and the journey to assist youth in becoming self-sufficient.

To read  the story of Bianca and her journey through the foster care system into TLP, pelase click here.

To read an engaging story about how our TLP program helped UCAN youth Johnny Banks, please click here.

 For more information, please contact Margarita Cordon at 708-201-3003 or  Para comunicarse con alguien en Español, favor de llamar a Margarita Cordon al numero 708-201-3003 o

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