UCAN’s Alumni Services Program (ASP) is an innovative, voluntary program that offers additional support to young adults who have transitioned out of the child welfare system. Our Alumni Program’s goal is to promote the power of potential, advocacy, and loyalty among both current and former participants; while increasing alumni participation and involvement in UCAN’s mission, vision, and activities.
The Alumni Services Program (ASP) provides youth and their children with an array of support and resources to assist in navigating their goals after transitioning out of foster care system. For example, alumni who are seeking employment receive resume building support via our Workforce Development department. Alums who are new parents are connected with parenting resources through Alumni Services. Alumni seeking to further their education are supported through scholarships from UCAN and DCFS. We have limited resources for emergency housing, childcare, and transportation.
The Alumni Program is working towards achieving several long-term goals:
- Alumni empowerment as evidenced by personal independence, decision-making, and self-advocacy;
- Long-term employment and financial self-sufficiency;
- Increased opportunities to give back as ambassadors, mentors, and volunteers;
- Increased professional networking opportunities and professional growth;
- Increased service to the larger UCAN alumni community residing in the Greater Chicagoland area.
For more information, please contact Prestina Singleton at Prestina.Singleton@ucanchicago.org or at 773.290.5811.
The Alumni Association comprises former UCAN clients that focus on networking, mentorship, volunteering, and advocacy. Each year, they travel to Springfield, Illinois., for Foster Care Youth and Alumni Legislative Shadow Day.
This is an engaging opportunity for alumni to speak with legislators about their experiences as youth-in-care and what they think the changes to policy and procedures within the foster care system should be. Each year, alumni have successfully helped craft and pass legislation, including advocating to Governor JB Pritzker to provide emergency funding to child welfare agencies and alumni services across the state and change the terminology describing youth in care. The Alumni Association works towards achieving several long-term goals: Alumni empowerment as evidenced by personal independence, decision-making, and self-advocacy; Long-term employment and financial self-sufficiency; Increased opportunities to give back as ambassadors, mentors, and volunteers; Increased professional networking opportunities and professional growth; Increased service to the larger UCAN alumni community residing in the Greater Chicagoland area.
The culture, support system, and the easy access to beneficial connections of the program is what I like most.
Participant, Alumni Services & Association