CANS Update, June 2021


Ratings CANS strengths


The CANS is a communication tool and can be viewed as a way of identifying key items (needs and strengths) that you will uncover during the engagement process with the child and family therefore the CANS should not be seen as an “event” but an engagement process. The wraparound process has the worker/facilitator thoroughly looking at strengths and discovering those strengths through the Strengths, Needs, and Cultural discovery. Having a strength based practice, the CANS allows for ratings for strengths despite any evidence that the strengths are useful in case planning.


The Child and Family Team should accurately help the child and family therefore the team should be transparent and authentic in the way the CANS sStrengths domain is rated. By rating strengths too high in the beginning, the team could be missing an opportunity to correctly show and reflect progress in growing strengths during their work with the child and family.


In order to determine which strengths are useful and how they should be rated, there are several questions the Child and Family Team should consider: Is the strength useful and can be used in case planning for the child and family? Is there opportunity to further develop this strength? Applying those types of questions with consideration as to whether are not a strength is being used in a way that furthers development the child and family, could provide a solid framework for the actual rating.


Update on training offerings in fiscal year 2021/2022: CWDS will continue to offer CANS deliverables to many of our county partners. Our team has started to reach out to certified CANS trainers to begin scheduling CANS trainings for 2021/2022.

About Jenee Northcutt

Strengths: Input, Strategic, Learner, Belief, Individualization
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