The Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths (CANS) is a tool that is collaboratively completed to measure a child and family’s strengths and needs. Along with the other TCOM Tools (ANSA, FAST, SSIT, and more), they are evidence-based assessments to support decision-making, including level of care and intervention planning, facilitate quality improvement initiatives, and allows for the monitoring of clinical and functional outcomes. As a communication tool, they facilitate the linkage between the assessment process and design of individualized service plans.
Mention a case vignette to anyone who has gone through the certification process for the CANS, ANSA, CAT/CSPI or FAST and you will likely hear groans, and see eye rolls. Very few people are big fans of testing and vignettes are never as clear or easy as a trainee wishes. So, if test vignettes bring up such emotions, why do we still use them for testing?