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Central California Training Academy

"Because Children and Families Matter"

Child and Adolescents Needs and Strengths (CANS)

How services are provided to children and their families has been a recurring dilemma for the Child Welfare System. The State of California has been responding to this for over thirty years. Multiple initiatives have been employed with the intent to develop a more responsive system that addresses the needs of children and their families utilizing a more holistic approach. The Child and Adolescent Needs and Strength (CANS) and THE CHILD AND FAMILY TEAM (CFT) represent the framework that has been determined to be the means by which California can actualize the CONTINUUM OF CARE REFORM (CCR) that was codified into state law.

CANS represents an approach to services, consistent with the Core Practice Model (CPM) that engages children and their families and encourages communication across systems with an emphasis on the inclusion of the voices of those who are recipients of services. The goal is to help families move towards transformation. It provides and encourages those involved to inform their own futures in the delineation of the Care Plan rather than a system’s driven service approach.

The following information is intended to provide potential CANS (IP-CANS) users and/or trainers with a brief description of the four (4) training modules included in the CANS curriculum for the State of California. The curriculum was developed through a collaborative effort between the
California Department of Social Services (CDSS), the California Regional Training Academies, the Statewide CANS/CFT Implementation Team –Workforce Development Subgroup, and the John Praed Foundation. It supports California’s efforts to meet the vision of Continuum of Care Reform (CCR), the implementation of a trauma informed Systems of Care approach (AB 2083) and is reflected in the Integrated Core Practice Model (ICPM).
The CANS is a multi-purpose tool designed to be the output of a collaborative assessment process. It supports care planning and decision-making, facilitates quality improvement initiatives, and allows for the monitoring of outcomes and services. These efforts articulate the shared values, core components, and standards of practice grounded and demonstrated in current research. The findings speak to how collaborative and integrated family services work best in meeting the complex needs of children, youth, non-minor dependents, and families involved with multiple, government funded entities.

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Course Description: This is a one-day (6.5 hour) training workshop that provides participants an understanding of how California will use the Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths (CANS). Intended participants are: child welfare social workers, mental health clinicians, juvenile probation staff, Child and Family Team facilitators, and supervisors who will be using the CANS and do not need to be certified in the tool. This module includes instruction and practice in the use of CANS including case/treatment planning.

Prerequisite: None

This module does not include elicit instruction on completing the tool and does not provide CANS certification preparation.

Course Description: This is a two day (12 hour) training workshop. Using vignettes and small group activities, this two-day, interactive session will prepare users for certification and use of the CANS in Child and Family Team (CFT) meetings, care coordination and case/treatment planning. Principles and practices in using the CANS as an assessment strategy and tool to monitor outcomes and inform plans will be addressed.

The workshop's intended participants include child welfare social workers, mental health plan clinicians who will be completing and using the CANS, and for child welfare supervisors who oversee case planning. Preparation for the CANS certification test process is provided.

Prerequisite: None

This is the only module that prepares individuals for CANS certification.

Course Description: This one day (6 Hour) workshop provides a framework for supervisors in their support of the use of Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths (CANS) within the Integrated Core Practice Model (ICPM). Participants include supervisors of child welfare social workers, mental health clinicians, juvenile probation staff, and CFT facilitators in their use of the CANS in child welfare

and mental health practice. Attention is given to the level of supervisor development and integration of CANS information into the CFT meeting when working with children, youth, and families. Hands on activities will be used to illustrate supervision strategies along the ICPM phases of practice, teaming and coordinating care. Time will be provided for peer consultation and small group discussion of relevant issues that arise in supervision with the CANS.

Prerequisite: Completion of Module B: The CANS: Overview, Case Planning and Preparation for Certification; certification on the CANS highly recommended.

Course Description: This one day (6 Hour) workshop provides participants with previous CANS training or
certification and need a refresher on core concepts as well as specific instruction and practice
on the use of the CANS in case or treatment planning. Focus is on how California will use the
Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths (CANS) in collaborative action planning, meeting the
Integrated Core Practice Model (ICPM) vision for creating behavioral objectives with families
and teams.
Using vignettes and small group activities, this full day, interactive session will review core CANS
concepts in preparation to use the CANS in coordinating case and treatment plans. Principles
and best practice in using the CANS in Child and Family Teams (CFTs) for engagement, care
coordination, and optimization of plans will be addressed.

Prerequisite: Previous CANS training: CANS certification recommended.

Please note: This training does not provide preparation for certification in the CANS.

An Introduction to the three-video Series covering CANS Implementation for the California Department of Social Services

1. The CANS in Emergency Response

2. The CANS in CFT Meetings

3. The CANS in Interim CFT Meetings