I attended CANS Training at EMQ Families First in Campbell. CANS stands for Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths. It is a comprehensive multisystem assessment for children. It is “communimetric” in that it facilitates communication between children, parents and therapist, as well as between therapists as a way be on the same page in communicating. This provides a set of different area for which a score determines the course in therapy. Basically for need items, a score of 0 indicates no action, 1 indicates something to keep an eye on, 2 calls for action, and 3 for immediate action or intensive action. Strengths are scored differently with 0 indicating a centerpiece strength, 1 a useful strength, 2 an identified strength, and 3 no identified strength in that area.
The scaling is done in six different area. Only Youth strengths use the alternative scoring mechanism. These areas are: Life Domain functioning; Youth’s Strengths; Acculturation; Caregiver’s Needs and Strengths; Youths Behavior/Emotional needs; and Youth’s risk Behaviors. Each area has a series of questions to define what might be a need or a strength in each particular area. Additional there are individualized assessment modules. These modules are only completed based on a response to previous question. These modules include: developmental Needs; Trauma; Substance use Disorder; Violence; Youth Emotional/Behavioral risks; Resiliency Factors; Sexually Aggressive Behavior; Runaway; Juvenile Justice; Fire Setting.
I liked this module because you could go quickly from an identified need to formulating a plan to address that need. This way counseling could be goals oriented and a child and parent could actually see progress being made.