Trainings to look forward to in 2020 include:
CANS & ANSA Overview & Certification:
Training for Trainers—Coming this spring – date TBD
Agency-specific trainings available in:
The TCOM tools (CANS and ANSA) are planning tools that express what areas to focus on in treatment with measurable metrics. It shows the level of urgency needed to take action, to provide clinical interventions for specific needs, and what strengths to build on in treatment with clients. The tools are also used for tracking case progress, acting as a roadmap throughout the time we work with clients. The CANS/ANSA help us to identify needs & strengths and treatment plans in an organized and communication-oriented manner that keeps us focused on the uniqueness of each client and what they present.
When you think about clinical supervision, supervisees and their supervisors are surely discussing all of these themes in the room each week. You are bringing client needs and strengths into the supervision hour, discussing assessment and interventions, and sharing progress and changes in the lives of the clients.
What would it be like to do this using the CANS/ANSA in the clinical supervision space? Could the tool help you focus and organize the complex information and make the case easier to discuss with purpose and attention to what needs to be addressed? Try it out. Make a commitment. The tools have more impact the more we commit to using them in the way they are intended: to bring multiple voices into the conversation, keep the client front and center, and help us be the best clinicians we can be. Supervisors and supervisees, see what can come from using the tools in your time together!
The Alameda TCOM Collaborative has an entire section of Supervision Resources for supervisors and clinicians, including:
In the Dear Collaborative column, we answer YOUR questions about TCOM and the TCOM tools (CANS, ANSA-T, ANSA).
Have questions and want answers? Submit your questions through the Contact page. Submissions are confidential.
Q1: What do I do as a clinician if there are A LOT of action items or needs identified on the CANS and I can’t address all of them in treatment at this time?
A1: This is one example of when the collaborative nature of the CANS can be a helpful tool in determining where the highest needs are and who can address them. If you are addressing one set of needs and another provider is addressing another, you can work in collaboration and provide this context in your clinical documentation (e.g., clinical formulation and treatment plan). Additionally, it can be helpful to categorize needs as either background needs (typically more static, underlying needs that may be driving current behaviors, such as “Living Situation”) and target needs (identified with a "2" or "3" and intended to be addressed in treatment, such as “Self-Harm”). For target needs that are believed to share the same root cause, you can cluster them together and select interventions that address the whole cluster. By addressing target needs, you may also impact background needs. Similarly, you can categorize strengths into useful strengths and strengths to build. This is helpful when incorporating strengths into the treatment planning process. The process of clustering needs and strengths in order to focus treatment can not only help you as a clinician, but also the client, family, and treatment team to reach consensus and work toward common goals.
Q2: When completing the ANSA, who is considered the caregiver when assessing caregiver needs?
A2: For adult services, the “caregiver” is generally any person the recipient identifies as their caregiver. This could be a friend, a family member, or a spouse. When completing the CANS/ANSA certification exam, it will be made explicit who the caregiver is, both in the vignette and at the top where it reads “rate [name] as caregiver.”
Q3: There’s a lot to remember regarding the CANS and ANSA tools. Is there a one-pager with key points?
A3: Yes! Praed Foundation created the Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths (CANS) User Tip Sheet and the Adult Needs and Strengths Assessment (ANSA) User Tip Sheet. Both tip sheets include a description of the tool, guiding principles, questions to consider and a quick action rating guide. Both serve as a great snapshot. If you’re interested in digging deeper, check out our Manuals & Scoresheets and Engagement & Planning Tools resources .
Each newsletter features top questions submitted to the Alameda TCOM Collaborative. If you have an urgent or critical CANS-related question, you can contact your agency's CANS/TCOM Coordinator or one of the Collaborative Members at any time.
Why do we require that Alameda County providers do their initial CANS/ANSA Certification Training in person rather than simply having folks log in and do it themselves online? It’s a fair question to ask, given that it would seemingly be more efficient to have everyone do it on their own.
We do initial certification training in person because such an environment allows for deeper and broader understanding of these tools, connection-building with other providers, the opportunity for active conversation and questions, and the chance for individualized support from our experienced trainers. It is an all-day training, designed to allow you to briefly set aside your many obligations, immerse yourself in the experience, and not feel rushed. What’s more, most folks pass their certification test on their first try after these trainings, making this in-person setup, well, quite efficient, too.
Think about the trainings you have been to throughout your career. Which ones were more effective? Which ones answered your specific questions? From which kind did you retain more information? Here’s to more fantastic training and CANS-certified providers in 2020!
Be sure to check out the Alameda TCOM Collaborative Training Calendar for all upcoming in-person training sessions.
Our CANS data says YES!
As providers, we know the importance of being strengths-based in our clinical work. This means being aware of our clients' strengths and emerging strengths, and identifying them in our CANS. Data from across Alameda County shows that clients receiving services are building their strengths during their time in treatment. The 14 items in the Strengths Domain show consistent increases in the number of centerpiece and existing strengths (ratings 0 and 1) from midway through treatment to discharge.
The largest gains were seen in the following CANS items:
The data set included almost 16,000 children and youth served by Alameda County providers from July of 2017 to July 2019. The outcome data clearly shows the importance of treatment and how we are making positive differences in the lives of children and youth. Keep up the good work!
Blog content is created by the shared effort of the Alameda TCOM Collaborative members. Send feedback through the Contact page.