Meet some of your #TCOM2018 Presenters!

Featured in this post: Emily B. Shapiro & Melissa Villegas


Emily B. Shapiro is a Quality Improvement Associate at Jewish Child and Family Services (JCFS) located in Chicago, IL. She has experience in qualitative research, project management, and evaluation consulting for nonprofit and philanthropic organizations. She provides direct quality improvement and evaluation support to a K-12+ Therapeutic Day School and programs serving adults and children with disabilities. Emily earned her Masters of Education from the University of Illinois Chicago’s Measurement, Evaluation, Statistics, and Assessment (MESA) program in 2016 and completed her Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from Loyola University Chicago in 2012. e:


Melissa Villegas is currently a Quality Improvement Associate at Jewish Child and Family Services (JCFS) located in Chicago, IL. She has over 13 years of social service experience working in direct service and administrative capacities. She has experience in community organizing, program evaluation, educational workshop facilitation, and has provided trainings on assessment tools and research methods. She is a certified trainer in the CANS, ANSA, and FAST assessments. Melissa earned a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor with a focus in Social Policy and Evaluation and a specialization in child welfare. e:

Q: What does Person-Centered Care mean to you?
ES: Person-centered care means seeing the individual and family as equal partners and experts in their own care. It is an actively engaging and flexible process that fosters the individual’s ownership over their own care and allows the provider to improve the quality of support.
MV: When I think of person-centered care, I think of an approach where clients are empowered to directly inform and partner in determining their services and the trajectory of their treatment. It is a philosophy where services should not be a ‘one size fits all’ approach, but really honor that each person is different, and care should be individualized to what each client needs.

Q. Why should individuals attend this year’s conference/your presentation?
ES: The conference provides a space to connect with others working within the TCOM framework, to share challenges with others, and celebrate successes in the field. Our presentations will offer an opportunity to share our recent experiences with implementing an education version of the CANS in a Therapeutic Day School setting this past year as well as our longer-term efforts to keep the ANSA “fresh” for both providers and individuals over the past 9 years of implementation.
MV: Attending the TCOM conference provides an opportunity to network, learn from each other, and continue building upon the knowledge of what is considered best practice. Coming from a quality improvement perspective, it provides an opportunity to see what other organizations are doing related to evaluation. It also provides a forum to learn how to continue making the CANS, ANSA, and FAST assessment tools meaningful across all levels of care.

Q: What drew you to attend this year?
ES: This will be my first year attending the TCOM Conference. I’m excited to learn from others and contribute to the larger discussion of taking person-centered care to scale.
MV:  I have attended the CANS conference once before, and I walked away with so many resources and ideas on how to strengthen our systems. I am excited to hear about new innovations in the TCOM field.

Q: Why did you choose to present on this specific topic?
ES: As one of the few organizations to implement an educational version of the CANS in a Therapeutic Day School setting, we want to share our motivations behind implementation and the lessons we’ve learned along the way. We hope that this topic will resonate with other educational programs and multi-service organizations committed to person-centered care for young people and their families.
MV: At JCFS, we utilize the ANSA, CANS, and FAST assessment tools. We have been using the ANSA assessment in our counseling program for 9 years and the CANS is new to our Therapeutic Day School. When reflecting upon our implementation of these assessments, we thought it would be interesting to share lessons learned in implementing these tools in different settings.

Connect with Emily and Melissa!

Attend their presentations at the 14th Annual TCOM Conference on Wednesday, 10/3/2018 from 2:50-3:50 pm and Friday, 10/5/2018 from 10:10-11:10 am.

Creating a Shared Vision in a Therapeutic Day School Setting

During this session we will share a version of the CANS that combines both social-emotional and academic domains implemented in a therapeutic day school setting. CANS was implemented based on staff recommendation to address the limitations of other data sources (e.g., Individualized Educational Program plans, CAFAS, incident reports). The session will also describe how the CANS supports implementation of Collaborative Problem Solving, an approach to resolve behavioral problems in a collaborative, mutually satisfactory manner. This presentation will provide insights for how to use the CANS in conjunction with other school related data sources. Lessons learned and preliminary data analysis from year 1 of CANS implementation in a therapeutic day school setting will be shared.

Keeping It Fresh: 9 Years of ANSA Implementation

JCFS has been implementing the ANSA in its Counseling program since 2009. This session will focus on the ANSA and 9 years of data analysis and implementation. Participants will see an example of how one organization has adapted the ANSA over time to reflect the needs and strengths of the clients served and how the ANSA is used to communicate, assess, organize, and evaluate individual client progress over time. For example, given that our Counseling program often works with the family and not just an individual, it became evident that the family component was missing from the shared vision of our assessment, and the FAST was incorporated into both the CANS and the ANSA. This session will share reflections on implementation and multi-year data analysis. Several key findings will be shared as well as how this information was integrated into our CQI process.

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