The Texas Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths (CANS) Comprehensive 2.0 (child welfare) assessment is a multi-purpose tool developed to help youth under DFPS.

Behavioral health

Cans 2.0

The Texas Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths (CANS) Comprehensive 2.0 (child welfare) assessment is a multi-purpose tool developed for youth under the conservatorship of the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS). The assessment helps create individualized plans and objectives related to permanency planning, safety and well-being, and the quality of life of youth in foster care.

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What is the CANS 2.0 assessment?

The Texas Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths (CANS) Comprehensive 2.0 (child welfare) assessment is a multi-purpose tool developed for youth under the conservatorship of the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS). The CANS 2.0 uses four scoring levels to suggest different pathways for service planning. It was developed with the primary objectives of permanency planning, safety, and improved quality of life for youth in foster care.  

The assessment is designed to use as either a prospective assessment tool for decision support and recovery planning or as a retrospective quality improvement tool demonstrating an individual youth’s progress. It can also be used as a communication tool that provides a uniform language for all youth-serving entities to discuss a youth’s needs and strengths.

Who needs a CANS 2.0 assessment?

Effective September 1, 2016, youth who enter the care of DFPS and are 3-17 years of age will need a CANS 2.0 assessment within 30 days of entering care and annually thereafter, per state requirements. These members will need an initial assessment within the first 30 days of care and an annual assessment thereafter.

Who can provide this assessment?

The assessment is to be completed by a licensed clinician contracted with Superior HealthPlan for STAR Health (foster care members) and is certified to administer the tool.

Is this the same assessment conducted by Local Mental Health Authorities (LMHA)?

No, the CANS 2.0 is different from the CANS assessment currently provided by LMHA.

Can an assessment be billed while the member is inpatient?

Yes, the CANS 2.0 assessment may be billed while a child is inpatient if the facility has someone on staff who is certified to administer the assessment or is willing to allow a provider onsite to administer the assessment.