Implementation and Goals

This is Part 2 of the Project SAFESPACE post. 


Project SAFESPACE has experienced many successes since its inception.  The child welfare and behavioral health community interact more frequently and acquired a better understanding of each other’s point of view about service provision.  Both communities have a more formal mechanism for communicating and collaborating with one another on a regular basis.  Staff conduct fidelity monitoring with both workers and providers.  Project staff deliver strong training to DCBS staff in conjunction with EKU.  Project staff workers conduct training together with Super Users throughout the state trained by John Lyons to promote fidelity.  Finally, project staff conduct Clinical Consultation with provider agencies in an effort to provide support, answer process questions and complete chart reviews to monitor inter-rater reliability.

Implementation results in challenges along the way as well.  One of the largest challenges centers on capacity building in both the DCBS and provider communities.  Both systems possess a high level of staff turnover.  This creates inconsistency in rapport building and service provision.  Financial limitations impact the time and resources provider agencies can commit to training and certification of staff.  If these agencies have a limited number of CANS certified clinicians, it could delay administration of the CANS to the clients.  Furthermore, we have seen strong compliance with DCBS staff’s completion of the screeners, but providers demonstrate less compliance with CANS completion.  This lessens the value DCBS workers see in in the overall project goal.  Some providers report struggling with getting enough information from DCBS initially, making it harder to complete the Caregiver Needs and Strengths section of the CANS. Finally, providers continue struggling with understanding how to accurately complete the CANS Assessment Report, while DCBS workers have difficulty understanding and utilizing it.  This continuing education issue will be addressed in training.

The funding for this project ends September 30, 2018, so we must focus on creating a sustainable process.  As we prepare to move into the final year of funding, the Project Team must ensure that processes are in place for successful continuation of accomplishments made thus far. The screeners have been integrated into the management information system (SACWIS). DCBS. A web-based application for CANS completion was developed for provider use and transfer of results to DCBS. Concrete plans for integrating the DCBS training into the standing training academy for new workers are in place.  Provider Super Users have been trained who can train additional staff in their agencies build ongoing capacity.  Additional strategies to promote sustainability that need to be put into place include braiding funding to support the provider web-based application, implementing a plan for ongoing monitoring and oversight of the process, and establishing a process for training new trainers across the state as turnover occurs.  As these strategies develop over the next year, Kentucky prepares for continued utilization of the CANS as the standardized assessment tool for kids in DCBS custody and complete integration of collaboration into its daily practice.

For more information on Project SAFESPACE, comment in the box below or contact Dorothy Hickerson,


Thank you Dorothy for being a part of the TCOM Collaborative! We can’t wait to hear more.

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