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’s promise is to advocate for and provide opportunities that change lives through impactful programs, consistent presence and unrivaled diversity and inclusion. Founded 150 years ago as a Civil War orphanage, UCAN has a long history of creating safe and caring spaces for youth, adults and families to grow. 

UCAN serves and impacts over 21,000 at-risk children, youth and families across Illinois. We provide a continuum of care that meets clients where they are within the following areas of service:

  • 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 intervention and prevention

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