Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths Program (CANS)

The Shriver Center’s Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths (CANS) Program offers training, certification, and support to Medicaid-funded behavioral health professionals in Massachusetts who serve children under the age of 21 and use the CANS tool.

Managed by the Children’s Behavioral Health Initiatives of the Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS), the CANS tool is designed to enhance communication, information integration, and service planning among those who provide behavioral health care for children and adolescents; its goal is to ensure that youth in the commonwealth receive the services they need.

Since its inception in 2007, the CANS Program has accomplished the following:

  • Development of a comprehensive online registration system
  • Development of an online examination to certify training participants as CANS assessors
  • Development of online training curriculum for the CANS
  • Development of distance learning tools to augment core training curriculum
  • Development of the Massachusetts CANS newsletter
  • Training and post-certification support through a live helpdesk, community of practice meetings, and webinars
  • Systematic evaluation of the program
  • Continuous quality improvements to the CANS tool, curriculum, training delivery, and certification testing
  • Technical assistance to EOHHS, cooperating agencies and partners, training participants, and other stakeholders

For more information, contact us.

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