The CDR CANS-PA:
One Tool for Measuring Outcomes Across PA’s Entire Child Serving System
The Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths Assessment (CANS) is the most used assessment and outcomes tool in the US child service system. Its popularity is due to its comprehensiveness and that it can be individualized.
The CANS measures all aspects of a child’s lifeworld:
- Mental health symptomatology
- Caregiver needs and strengths
- Child strengths
By accounting for all aspects of a child and family’s life, the CDR CANS-PA can measure outcomes across the entire system of care: From outpatient, through community-based care, partial hospital, and all the way through inpatient and residential care. This allows us to track one person’s needs throughout the system, and also to have a uniform system for comparing all levels of care against each other.
While there are “core” CANS items, every jurisdiction that adopts the CANS is able to individualize it to local realities. The CDR CANS-PA was developed by a large group of Pennsylvania stakeholders to measure the needs relevant in our child serving system. Some of the most important Pennsylvania- specific additions made to the CDR CANS-PA form are:
- Autism spectrum and developmental delay items
- Firearms risk assessment
- Trauma module
For these reasons, and more, the CDR CANS-PA is utilized across Pennsylvania at all levels of care, including outpatient, BHRS/IBHS, Family based mental health, truancy programs, child welfare, foster care, partial hospital programs, and more!
When you use the CDR CANS-PA you are providing your clients with a comprehensive assessment that helps with treatment and disposition planning, and which assess their needs in the context of the whole Pennsylvania child serving system. You can look at your data and compare this particular child’s needs, or your entire organization’s performance, across the offering of Pennsylvania’s entire system of care.
For more insights on how the CANS can help you provide the highest quality care to your clients, contact CDR today!