Parent-led Training. See above.

Online Certification. Ethical practice with the CANS requires training and reliability certification. Clinicians can be certified annually on the CANS via in-person trainings provided by Dr. John Lyons, or via a training website. This website allows clinicians to access training videos featuring the CANS developer (John Lyons), practice exams, and certification exams. The site is accessible 24-hours a day from any location with an Internet connection. The site address is:

There is also some excellent work being done in Massachusetts regarding making the online certification process even more effective and understandable. Martha Henry, Ph.D., whose team is spearheading this work, presented on this work at the 6th Annual CANS Conference. Click here to see her PowerPoint presentation:

Forms. Clinicians complete the CANS as part of an integrated Mental Health Assessment, Re-assessment or Closing Summary. The CANS items have been integrated into pre-existing Medicaid-compliant narrative assessment forms. In the new integrated forms, the narrative sections serve to justify the ratings made on the CANS items (see attached forms for examples). Whenever an Assessment or Reassessment is completed online, a Treatment Planning Summary Report is automatically generated online. This Treatment Planning Summary Report lists all of the actionable CANS items by domain. This list will be used with the client and family to generate the Treatment Plan.

The copyright for the CANS is help by the Praed Foundation in order to maintain its intellectual integrity and keep it free for anyone to use. The Praed Foundation has a website. On this website you can find CANS and CANS-like instruments to use to integrate into your current forms. The site address is:

Rating Manuals. For each CANS item, guidance is provided re: what constitutes a rating of 0, 1, 2, or 3.

Collaborative Treatment Planning. Jennifer Cardenas, Mark Nickell and their colleagues at Seneca Family of Agencies utilize many methods for collaborative treatment planning. One of those is the Why Wheel. This tool, in combination with the CANS, helps treatment teams analyze the needs of a client and family and develop a course of action (e.g., treatment plan, action steps). These documents can be used, but if they are to be shared, please acknowledge Seneca Family of Agencies and Jennifer Cardenas and Mark Nickell. They can also be contacted for further information (see documents for contact information).

Treatment Planning Manuals. The Treatment Planning Manual walks field-by-field through the Treatment Plan form and describes how the CANS / Assessment informs the Treatment Plan. Special attention is paid to writing goals that address multiple actionable CANS items. A full example including an Initial CANS / Assessment and completed Treatment Plan is included. In addition to the Treatment Plan Manual is a document which lists examples of Medicaid-compliant goals for all of the CANS items included on both the Initial CANS / Assessment and the Reassessment.

Concrete Guidelines to Treatment Planning and Clinical Applications of the CANS. This one page document provides guidance on how to us the CANS-Trauma in treatment planning.

Using the CANS in Work with Complexly Traumatized Children and Adolescents: Creative Applications for Different Roles: This document provides examples of how the CANS may be used by the clinician for clinical treatment planning and intervention.

Multi-Cultural Engagement Guides. These guides are designed to provide practical step-by-step recommendations for how to engage culturally and linguistically diverse caregivers and youth. The guides are laid out in a format which follows the time-course of treatment, from initial contact to transition planning. Examples of both cross-cutting and culture-specific practices are provided, in order to help you see the underlying practices which cut across cultural and linguistic groups, and to highlight culture-specific practices needed to fully engage persons with specific cultural experiences. The guides provide suggested behaviors to engage in and ways to frame important conversations in order to engage families in a truly collaborative care experience.

Using the CANS with Clients and Their Families: A Tip Sheet: This document provides information on how to use the CANS with clients and families.

Talking about Trauma when conducting the CANS/ANSA/FAST: Some portions of the assessment can be more difficult to talk about than others, specifically the trauma domains. However, learning about what an individual has been through, and how it may be affecting them now, is vital to guiding how we work with an individual or family. The following includes tips and strategies for gathering this information in a safe and trauma-informed manner, which can be applied according to your own communication style.

Reports. In addition to the Treatment Planning report, clinicians are able to access, on-demand, reports which show client Needs over time. Specifically, reports are available which graph the rating of each CANS item by domain at each assessment point (Initial, Reassessment, Closing). Clinicians also have instant access to reports that show the Clinical and Functional Needs of their agency’s clients over time. To manage their workflow, clinicians can pull up a report at any time that lists upcoming and overdue assessments. Clinicians can also access a pie chart that shows the percentage of clients on their caseload at different intensities of clinical need.