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UCAN Federal Platform Strategy

As a progressive community-based agency, UCAN continues to strategically expand our visibility and outreach in the federal arena to explore new opportunities to strengthen support our service to underserved communities and advance racial equity. Based in Chicago’s North Lawndale community, UCAN serves and impacts more than 21,000 at-risk youth, children and families with a trauma-informed approach to serving participants from a holistic standpoint.

Currently, UCAN works at the community, local and state levels with the majority of our programing based in Chicagoland. Our goal is to continue to expand our local and statewide advocacy and be recognized as an influential agency with a commitment to advocate nationally for communities that are underserved. 

Our advocacy efforts are focused on five areas:

1. Healthcare and Human Services

UCAN Program

Clinical Youth Development Services

  • Illinois Department of Children and Family Services/Counseling
  • Life Skills and Financial Literacy
  • Illinois Department of Family and Support Services
  • Illinois State Board of Education
  • Chicago Board of Education/Social Emotional Learning
  • Chicago Department of Family Services
  • Cook County Justice Advisory Council

UCAN Program

Therapeutic Homes

  • Illinois Department of Children and Family Services
  • Illinois State Board of Education
  • Department of Juvenile Justice

2. Criminal Justice Reform

UCAN Program

Violence Intervention and Prevention Services

  • Juvenile Authority Council
  • Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority
  • Chicago Department of Public Health/Department of Family Support Services

3. Education and Workforce Development

UCAN Program

Violence Intervention and Prevention Services

  • Cook County Workforce Partnership/Workforce Innovative Opportunity Act
  • Chicago Housing Authority/Family Works
  • Department of Human Services/Community Youth Employment Program

4. Economic Access, Opportunity and Equity

UCAN Program

Next Chance/Supportive Housing Program

  • Chicago Department of Family and Support Services

UCAN Program

Teen Parenting Service Network

  • Illinois Department of Children and Family Services/Family Development and Educational Support

UCAN Program

Foster Care and Kinship Care

  • Illinois Department of Children and Family Services

5. Social Justice and Race Relations

UCAN Program

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

As one of our three foundational cornerstones, diversity, equity and inclusion are in our DNA. UCAN deploys a nine-tiered, internal-external strategy to achieve best-in-class programmatic success. Our progressive approach embraces cultural differences, which helps UCAN act as a catalyst for change. We continue to advocate for services and supports for those we serve and for our peers and partners who also serve underrepresented communities. Our goal is to manifest as a national DEI difference-maker.

Focused on Change for the Future

In additional to our current local and state advocacy efforts, UCAN seeks federal support from select federal agencies with a focus on health, labor, justice, education, corrections and human services. Going forward, we will continue to hold in person and virtual meetings on critical legislative and community issues, COVID-19 relief and resources, DEI strategies, violence intervention and workforce development, among other topics, with elected officials from every level of government.

In short, we seek to engage with federal elected officials to escalate our advocacy efforts from the state to a nation platform. In the process, we will engage a growing number of national coalitions in our advocacy areas to strengthen our expansion into the federal arena. 

For more detailed information, contact Derrick Baker, Vice President, Marketing & External Affairs, at (773) 588-0180 or at

Active Engagement with Federal Elected Officials

Community-based and community-focused, UCAN provides an array of integrated services and supports for children, youth and families through the agency’s 13 office locations throughout Chicagoland.

The scope of the agency’s programmatic footprint requires that we engage with federal elected officials. Our goal is to ensure our multi-level advocacy efforts on behalf of those we serve seamlessly transition to a national platform to influence policy, trauma-informed research and federal funding. Therefore, continuous, mutually beneficial engagement with federal elected officials is essential to the agency’s success as a positive change agent that supports our constituents in finding and unlocking the power of their potential.

Meet the U.S. Representatives for UCAN's Sites

Rep. Danny K. Davis

UCAN Nichols Center
3605 W. Fillmore St., Chicago

Garfield Park Office
212 S. Francisco Ave., Chicago

Diermeier Therapeutic Youth Home
3640 W. Fillmore St., Chicago

UCAN Academy Grand
3110 W. Grand Ave., Chicago

Transitional Living Program
3635 W Cermak Rd., Chicago
6203 S. Spaulding Ave., Chicago
628 N. Parkside Ave., Chicago
2119 S. 25th Ave., Chicago

Rep. Robin Kelly

UCAN Riverdale Office
13700 S. Indiana Ave., Riverdale

Transitional Living Program
7 W. 137th Pl., Riverdale

Rep. Jonathan L. Jackson

UCAN Academy South
1551 W. 95th St. Chicago

Transitional Living Program
8226 S. Hermitage Ave. Chicago

Rep. Sean Casten

UCAN Chicago South
10046 S. Western Ave., Chicago

Meet the U.S. Senators for UCAN's Sites

Sen. Tammy Duckworth

Sen. Dick Durbin