Announcement: We would like to introduce Jessica Vigil as our new Alameda County Behavioral Health (ACBH) CANS Lead! Jessica has experience working for the Alameda County Department of Social Services Agency where she worked with foster youth and their families. Jessica deeply understands the importance of care coordination and collaboration and she currently also holds the role of the Special Services Coordinator for ACBH.
The Alameda TCOM website has been redesigned with a focus on user experience to increase efficiency, improve site navigation, incorporate search functionality, collect better metrics, and remove outdated information. Site sections have been simplified and information is presented in a more streamline manner to reduce duplication and unnecessary text. We invite you to explore the updated site and utilize the search feature on the home page!
Our Alameda County CANS/ANSA Provider Collaborative has provided countless live "Roadshow" trainings to a number of Alameda County agencies on topics ranging from:
After receiving 2 of our Roadshow trainings in 2021, Kao Saechao, Asian Health Services Specialty Mental Health Director, reported that, "The resources and materials shared were very helpful for our team in learning how to apply the CANS." Some highlights of the training that Kao provided were: Tools and resources on how to use the CANS such as documents and examples; Going through some case vignettes; and answering specific questions related to our clientele including engagement issues, cultural/language needs, and more. Kao also stated "Cinthya and Bree [Provider Collaborative Coaches/Trainers] provided a culturally sensitive perspective that connected the assessment to our daily clinical work. Our team has benefited tremendously and have learned to better incorporate the CANS in client care.”
Are you interested in bringing a CANS/ANSA training or coaching sessions to your agency? If so, reach out to one of our provider collaborative members to submit a request or ask any associated questions!
Alameda County Behavioral Health has delayed the launch of the requirement for there to only be one CANS per youth since we are still working to resolve some technical challenges that would inhibit this effort significantly. We understand the importance of moving to one CANS per youth for our clients, families, our mental health providers and partners and we want to make the transition as seamless as possible.
We will keep you updated as we get closer to being able to roll this initiative out.
Christine Mukai, MBA, LCSW (she/her)
Critical Care Manager/CANS Coordinator/AB 1299
Child and Young Adult System of Care/Crisis
Alameda County Behavioral Health
Jessica Vigil, LCSW
Behavioral Clinician II, Special Services Coordinator
Child & Young Adult System of Care
Alameda County Behavioral Health
Calling all clinical supervisors! Do you actively use CANS/ANSA in your supervision sessions? If not, we're calling on you to make these amazing tools a part of the conversation. You know that the TCOM tools are rooted in collaboration and that no one should do them alone! You're the first and most important collaborator who can help supervisees to think actively about their cases using the CANS/ANSA framework to organize the information! Check out our new tips sheet made for supervisors. We'll give you simple tips on how to integrate the CANS/ANSA into your supervision sessions. Let the tool work for you and your supervisees by using it!
Maybe it’s time to take advantage of some free coaching! The Alameda TCOM Collaborative is a group of experts in the usage of CANS and ANSA tools. We love to provide support to Alameda County providers who could benefit from free coaching. Coaching with a collaborative member can help you or your agency or program build skills, get questions answered, build a roadmap to greater success in using the tools. We want to help you and your colleagues to be great at using the CANS or ANSA to engage clients, build treatment plans, and get data that helps you and your clients track the impact treatment is making on their lives. If you are just doing the CANS or ANSA because you have to and you would like it to become more useful, reach out for coaching and we can help you build a new and better relationship with these tools. You’ll be so glad you reached out for support! You can be a Transformational Collaborative Outcomes Management (TCOM) Superstar!
Question 1 (Using CANS in Supervision?):
I’m a fairly new supervisor and I supervise several new clinicians. I’m not sure how to integrate the CANS into my weekly individual or group supervision meetings. Should we be looking at the CANS together and discussing it or do I just review and approve it when I get one and provide any feedback I have afterward? What do you recommend? I want to do a good job at supporting my clinical team to most effectively use the CANS.
Thanks for the question. We think the CANS should definitely be discussed in supervision since it’s a collaborative tool! Clinical staff completing the CANS don’t need to hold everything alone; many voices should be a part of determining CANS ratings and discussing treatment goals and progress. The CANS is a great tool to organize information gathered and a great framework for discussing all aspects of cases. We suggest CANS focused discussions be a frequent part of the supervision meetings including looking at progress being made, strengths being developed, and new needs arising. If you’re not sure you’ve got all the skills needed right now to do so or you want to get even better at integrating CANS into supervision, did you know that the Alameda County TCOM collaborative can come to your agency and provide a “CANS and Supervision” roadshow training for you and your team? Just have your program director/team leader reach out to any of the members of the CANS/ANSA Provider Collaborative and we can schedule a training that works with your schedule!
Question 2 (CANS requirements for short episodes of care?):
For clients whose episode is less than 60 days, what is your policy for doing an initial and closing CANS? We have staff do one CANS but often with cases that are quicker open/close cases, we don't have enough data to accurately represent them on the CANS. I know we can fill in 0 for needs items or a 3 for strengths items if we have not identified those needs or strengths items but I'm also cognizant of the data going to the State and all that entails. Are staff required to do any CANS (either initial or closing or both) for clients who open and close their episode within 60 days?
The short answers is: It depends. Both an initial and discharge CANS are often still required even for short episodes of care but it is completely okay and understandable if there is not much change between the two. If a case closes before an initial assessment has been completed then a CANS is not required at all but if an initial CANS is completed (and this includes when the CANS is integrated into in the assessment for some agencies), a discharge CANS is required regardless of the time frame between the two. Just so you know, if your agency staff enter CANS directly into Objective Arts, you can review the last CANS completed which can give staff a great deal of information that they may not have been able to gather individually with the youth or family. In addition, staff can at times auto-populate ratings from the last CANS into the current CANS and then the staff can just make applicable updates based on what information that they have gathered. Hopefully that will help in these short episodes of care. Also, sometimes it can help to shift the focus away from "How do you rate this?" to "What did you and your client decide were actionable needs?" and that completing the CANS is an opportunity to document the current actionable priorities in their life (regardless of the service provider involved).
Question 3 (Monitoring Semi-annual CANS Completion?):
How can we track and ensure completion of semi-annual CANS or ANSA at the 6-month points between utilization reviews?
For agencies who enter CANS and/or ANSA directly into Objective Arts (OA), a staff or supervisor can easily run a "Tickler Report" to see upcoming due dates for CANS/ANSA and this includes indications when a CANS/ANSA is overdue. For agencies with staff who enter the CANS/ANSA in their own Electronic Health Records (EHRs), some agencies have: