We are happy to be part of the countywide implementation of a standardized assessment tool so that we all can work towards meeting the needs of children, youth and families through a strength-based needs-driven approach.

The Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths (CANS) Comprehensive Assessment is being used throughout the United States by many different organizations and individuals.

  • The CANS, developed by John S. Lyons, PhD, was modified for use by the San Bernardino County Department of Behavioral Health.
  • The CANS is a document that organizes clinical information collected during a behavioral health assessment in a consistent manner to improve communication among those involved in planning care for a child or adolescent.
  • The CANS is also used as a decision-support tool to guide care planning and to track changing strengths and needs over time.
  • The CANS has three primary uses—as a decision support tool, as a quality improvement tool and as an outcome monitoring tool.
  • As an assessment tool, the CANS can be used by child and family teams to develop a plan of care.
  • As a quality improvement tool, the CANS can be used with the Treatment Fidelity Index to determine if the strengths and needs identified are incorporated into the plan of care.
  • As an outcome monitoring tool, the CANS may be used by the larger systems of care to track aggregate improvement by children and families on the entire tool or on a particular domain of the tool.

CANS-SB Clinical FAQs


CANS related issue: DBH-CANS-SB
Objective Arts issues: DBH-OA

CANS Training Registration: Log on to Relias, http://dbh.training.reliaslearning.com
Training and Certification Questions: training@dbh.sbcounty.gov or call (800) 722-9866