Objective Arts (OA) is the system that is used to aggregate all Alameda County CANS/ANSA data and you can learn how to use reports within that system by attending one of the OA Key Reports Data trainings which will be held on:
OA Key Reports Data Training Objectives:
Who Should Attend:
Supervisors, managers, and administrators who want to learn how to use the CANS/ANSA data to further support understanding the populations served, clinical decision making, program decisions and care coordination.
Please RSVP by September 12, 2019 to Christine.Mukai@acgov.org
We also have an OA reports user manual to aid you in your efforts to interpret CANS/ANSA data.
We look forward to seeing what all of you can do with a little more training and resources for CANS/ANSA data reporting!
There are 3 new Alameda County CANS Collaborative members: Bree Desmond (Fred Finch Youth Center), Sara Pollock (WestCoast Children's Clinic), and Dana Wolfenbarger (Seneca Family of Agencies).
Bree Desmond is our new Collaborative member from Fred Finch Youth Center. Bree’s current role is the Clinical Supervisor for Alameda County’s new Wraparound program for youth who are ages 8-18 and not involved in the Juvenile Justice or Child Welfare systems but are at risk of involvement in these systems. Bree has been at Fred Finch Youth Center for over a decade and held the role of Quality Manager/Data Analyst for most of her tenure. This gave her a great deal of experience providing training and collaboratively implementing the CANS/ANSA including creating a team and system for internal data aggregation and reporting at the agency and program level. Bree has been working in the social work field for more than 20 years and has been committed to serving the most vulnerable youth and families in variety of clinical roles. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who is a caring, persistent, strong advocate and in her free time she enjoys singing, dancing, hiking, swimming, movies, and gardening.
Sara Pollock is our new Collaborative member from WestCoast Children's Clinic. Sara's current role is the CANS-SSA Coordinator for Alameda County working with Social Services to help implement screenings of foster youth. She has been with WestCoast Children's Clinic since 2014 and has been a long-time user of the TCOM Tools in her roles as a community-based therapist, assessor, and clinical supervisor within our doctoral internship and postdoctoral residency training programs. In her clinical roles, Sara has demonstrated a strong commitment to the children and families she's served and has employed principles of transparency and high integrity. She has also demonstrated a deep sense of collaboration in her work with teammates and clients as well as promoted client-centered care at many levels of the system. At a personal level, Sara has been a political advocate for Public Service Loan Forgiveness, loves riding horses and appreciates spending time outdoors.
Dana Wolfenbarger is our new Collaborative member from Seneca Family of Agencies. Dana's current role is a Clinical Documentation Analyst on Seneca's Quality Improvement Team. She has been with Seneca since 2013 and has held positions in the training department as well as clinician positions in both community based and school based programs. Dana brings a lot of wonderful experience of embedding the TCOM framework in her work as a clinician. She has worked directly with families to engage them in the collaborative assessment process, including coming to a shared understanding of needs and strengths and facilitating transparency around the CANS tool. Dana hopes to bring her experience and excitement about how the CANS can improve treatment outcomes for youth and families to the Collaborative’s meetings and trainings. Dana enjoys photographing bees and making books in her spare time including books chronicling her travels, family recipes, favorite punk band, family relationships.
Our Provider Collaborative would like to offer training and supports that are most helpful to your learning of the CANS & ANSA tools. Before we do that, we wanted to get your input to guide the development of the supports we will provide. Your input will let us know what topics are most important to you, as well as what you already know and do well.
To best support you, we ask about three things:
The survey will run between April 29th through May 10th, 2019 and it should take about 15 minutes to complete. The survey is completely voluntary and you can withdraw at any time. Survey responses will be analyzed by the training provider, Chapin Hall, and results will be reported as a group, so that your identity and responses remain confidential. Survey data will be used by BHCS & our Provider Collaborative to learn how we can best support you through training, consultation, and policy alignment. Thank you for taking a few moments to help us better understand and support your work!!
Stars Community Services has had outstanding CANS/ANSA completion rates. We interviewed them to highlight this accomplishment and find out directly how they achieve it. Great job Stars team! Hopefully other providers will benefit from learning about your processes.
When asked what Stars staff attributed their stellar CANS completion rates to, they first stated “It’s required” candidly. But there is more to it than that or every agency would have the same level of CANS completion rates. They shared the following strategies that they think supports their outstanding completion rates. They have Opening, 30-day, 6-month, Annual and Discharge document checklists which include the CANS as one of the required documents. These checklists require signatures of the primary clinician and initials of supervisors and administrative staff are also required after they review the packets to help ensure all documents are present and complete for increased accountability. On these they have a prompt to supervisors to print the CANS and scan these into the EHR which keeps the supervisor more engaged in ensuring that the CANS is completed and submitted. Stars staff shared that their assessment and CANS are separate documents and though Stars has their own EHR, their primary clinicians enter their CANS directly into Objective Arts (OA). This has allowed the Research department to extract the CANS data from OA and produce some program level reporting. The clinicians are also utilizing CANS rating decreases to track the improvements of their clients in their treatment.
Training seems to be another key factor that has supported high completion rates for Stars. Veronique Lee stated that they have an all-day CANS Certification Training in their New Employee Orientation including time built in for trainees to take the test and this usually occurs within 2 weeks of hire. There are different tiers of training after New Employee Orientation to train staff on the clinical loop. Agency wide, Stars works to titrate trainings and do refreshers as well as provides program level trainings. Mattie’ Nogaye stated “It’s not a one stop shop”. Stars has 4 Leadership staff that have been certified as CANS Trainers. Having 4 Leaders is intentional to ensure that there is no void of training even when there is turnover or scheduling conflicts. In addition, Esmeralda Gonzalez emails all clinical staff CANS related training opportunities provided through the CANS Collaborative as they arise and she is also readily available as a consultant on an ongoing basis for clinical staff. When asked about any challenges they have had and how they overcame them, Chris shared that when the Praed Foundation switched to Schoox, the Training and QA department created a process map to ensure that CANS certifications were linked to the agency’s OA account. This helped prevent delays in staff being able to enter CANS in Objective Arts and so he stated he wished they had done this sooner.
It is clear that Stars has great systems in place to train and support their staff to not only get their CANS completed consistently when required, but also to hold themselves and each other accountable to a high level of compliance with all requirements which are in place to support their staff and the clients they serve.
We are excited to announce the upcoming Collaborative Trainings including:
The online training calendar has details for upcoming trainings. In addition, the Collaborative is happy to plan agency specific trainings at your site! Just reach out to your collaborative coach or contact us to submit a request!
One of the important questions that agencies ask about the State-wide CANS implementation is how to use the data collected to support improvement of client care. In order to respond to the need for expanded information on this topic, a comprehensive guide has been developed for administrators and supervisors to help generate data reports for their programs utilizing Objective Arts (OA).
The Objective Arts Key Reports: User Manual for Alameda County details four reports with direct agency usefulness for basic compliance tracking, as well as examining service efficacy. The user manual provides step-by-step instructions with illustrations for each of the four key reports, including the creation of customized report templates, how to run reports, and report interpretation.
The Objective Arts Key Reports: User Manual for Alameda County will be available to download online starting in late Spring.
Have you ever been asked to score something on a number scale? How sure were you that your number rating meant the exact same thing as the person asking for the rating? With communimetrics, the number scale is not subjective because each number is clearly linked to a specific concept but you may still find yourself in need of more support in order to effectively bring the CANS/ANSA into supervision and the treatment planning process across your agency within Alameda County Behavioral Health Care Services
We are here to help with that! There are a variety of NEW tools on our website that are now available for you to print and utilize which can help to guide engagement with your clients and families. Erin Rosenblatt, from Westcoast Children’s Clinic created these new tools with the intention of “enhancing [the] provider’s practice when using the TCOM tools (CANS/ANSA). While many who are new to using the CANS/ANSA focus on proficiency with the tool, these new tools will help providers understand how to integrate the principles and practices into work with clients, families, and in supervision.”
We would “encourage anyone that is looking to know how to further integrate the CANS/ANSA or TCOM into their practice to explore and see what tools resonate” and align most with their current space and processes. The updated documents can be found in the following sections:
“I think people will be surprised about how much they already are doing and how easy it can be to integrate these aspects into their day to day work with clients.”- Erin Rosenblatt
In the Dear Collaborative column, we answer YOUR questions about TCOM or the TCOM tools (CANS, ANSA-T, ANSA). Have questions and want answers? Submit your questions through the Contact page and look for the answer in the next edition of Dear Collaborative.
Q1: I find the strengths and needs scoring differences difficult to remember. Can you help?
A1: Absolutely. It can be confusing that the ratings for strengths go in the opposite direction as the ratings for needs. A simple way to remember is that a zero is always the most positive in both areas and go from there. A zero in needs means there is no evidence of a need which is generally positive. A zero in strengths means there is a centerpiece strength which is also positive. So, if you start with a zero in your mind equaling positive you can go from there on any item, be it a need or a strength.
Q2: Asking all these questions to families and clients takes too long and isn’t what I became a therapist for. Why do I have to do this?
A2: Great question! I bet you became a therapist to help people and support them to make their lives better. This is what the TCOM tools were developed for as well. Without tools to organize all the information families and clients share with us, we won’t have a roadmap to know where we’re going. The CANS/ANSA framework helps us make sure that the client, family, and therapist all share an understanding of what treatment is for and what we’re doing together. CANS/ANSA helps us to organize client needs and strengths and track progress throughout our work. Using the tools doesn’t look any one way with clients. Every therapist should think about their own family, client engagement style and strengths and then work with their supervisor to figure out how to share the CANS/ANSA with the clients and their families so they understand the tool and can work with you to identify what their own needs, strengths, and shared goals are for treatment. If you don’t have a roadmap, you’re likely to be lost a lot!
Q3: As a supervisor, how can I help my supervisees learn to be really good at using the CANS/ANSA?
A3: Supervisors are so important in helping the CANS/ANSA be more than just “another form that has to be completed.” You can make sure it’s what it should be: a strategic tool that helps everyone involved in a case communicate and support transformation and change. Learning takes time and has stages. Supervisors can support staff from the first stage of just getting certified through to becoming advanced CANS/ANSA users if you integrate learning into supervision sessions. A few suggestions for early stage users: Ask them to pretend they are explaining to another professional why they use the CANS or ANSA. Make sure you can explain it too! If either you or your supervisor are stuck here, go back to the website materials and videos or sign up for one of our in person trainings like “TCOM in supervision.” Our training calendar is always posted on Schoox.
Did you know Alameda Behavioral Health Care Services recently created two positions to support providers in utilizing the CANS and ANSA tools in a more coordinated and effective manner? Meet Christine Mukai, CANS Coordinator, and Michael Castilla, ANSA Coordinator.
Welcome to the team Christine and Michael!
Would you mind telling us a little about your job experience prior to coming into your new position?
Christine: My work experience started back in the late 90’s with SUD in NYC, then day treatment in LA, and outpatient in SF. Then I joined Alameda County in 2002 in outpatient, then to the AB3632 unit, which later became the ERMHS unit. The past 6 years have been with the CEC School based program until switching over to becoming the CANS Coordinator. I have used the CANS since 2014.
Michael: My work history has primarily been in Supported Employment. For eight years I assisted individuals with mental health, dual diagnosis, and with developmental disabilities to find and maintain employment. I’ve worked with adults and Transition Aged Youth populations. I’m currently working as a Social Worker Supervisor with In Home Support Services (IHSS). We serve Minor Children cases and assess their needs in order for them to remain safely in their homes and to avoid premature out of home placement. As a supervisor, I review the assessments provided by the Social Workers in my unit. We assess each individual’s Functional Index Ranking and work to promote independence.
What is the county’s current focus and future hopes for the CANS and ANSA tools?
Christine: The Alameda County Behavior Health (ACBH) is focusing on providing mental health and substance use services to limited income individuals and families. ACBH very recently had a logo and branding update to reduce the stigma and negative connotation towards people who suffer from mental health and substance use. The county is also putting efforts into providing a continuum of care and has recently started an FSP for wrap services under the Children and Young Adult System of Care.
The future for CANS is to have more users understand how it can be a tool that is useful beyond the needs and strengths assessment. CANS can be helpful in treatment planning, engagement, supervision and understanding outcomes.
Michael: I am very eager to get started and will know more as I become immersed in my new role. I am a big proponent of recognizing people’s strengths and what they can do. My career for the last 12 years has been around assisting individuals with maintaining independence and utilizing natural supports. My passion is coaching and supporting others with discovering new goals. My hopes are to assist all program recipients with recognizing their strengths and finding success with meeting their goals and continuing to dream for more.
What CANS or ANSA item do you most identify with?
Christine: The Sleep question is what I identify most with. Good restful sleep is essential in daily functioning and it’s a good indicator to understand the other areas. When I get consistent good sleep, I feel great and feel like I can conquer anything!
Michael: I most identify with Talents and Interests under Individual Strengths. I truly believe that we should continue to be curious with the world around us and to seek to improve our current talents as well as discovering new ones.
What is something that you do for fun?
Christine: Something I like to do for fun is go hiking or to the beach.
What is the last book you read that you enjoyed?
Michael: The last book that I really enjoyed was the “Power of Habit” by Charles Duhigg. I found it to be inspirational and very informative.
Blog content is created by the shared effort of the Alameda TCOM Collaborative members. Send feedback through the Contact page.