eCANS System, Training, and Service for Texas DFPS

Grants and Contracts Details


Response to HHS0010485 7.1.5 Minimum Experience and Qualifications Purpose This proposal is in response to HHS0010485 in support of the Texas, Department of Family Protective Services (DFPS) in its ongoing implementation and refinement of the Texas Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths (Texas CANS 2.0) as safety and risk assessment and referral/triage tools in its trauma informed, evidence-based child welfare services. The following steps are proposed in the use of the Transformational Collaborative Outcomes Management (TCOM) framework for this process. Qualifications The Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths (CANS) is a functional assessment tool that has been in use in child welfare, children’s behavioral health, educational and juvenile justice systems since the late 1990s. Developed by John S. Lyons, PhD while at Northwestern University, the CANS is now used across the United States, Canada and over 10 countries internationally. It is estimated that 80% of children served in public behavioral health and child welfare systems in the United States have had a CANS. Since the development of the CANS, other similar tools have been created including the Adult Needs and Strengths Assessment, Family Advocacy and Support Tool, Crisis Assessment Tool, and the Readiness Inventory for Successful Employment. During the last 30+ years Dr. Lyons’ work has received support from the organizations that he has worked in which contributed to the development of his team and the evolution of the Transformational Collaborative Outcomes Management (TCOM) approach: University of Ottawa, Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago, and most recently at the Center for Innovation in Population Health (IPH Center) at the University of Kentucky. Established in 2019, the IPH Center provides a platform for the TCOM approach to flourish in a research setting that can draw multi-sector collaborative relationships with key partners in the academy as well as throughout the human service sectors. Within the context of the IPH Center, TCOM and its tools, such as the CANS, broadens the strategy of personal transformation to addressing population health improvement. 1 Experience All key staff have worked with the eCANS system for 5 years, (3 years at Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago, 2 years at the Center for Innovation in Population Health, University of Kentucky). Within the same 5-year time frame, key members of the project team have provided the following support: • Dr. April D. Fernando provided technical assistance and consultation to the DFPS Director of Services, which included: assistance with the Texas CANS 2.0 implementation, review of CANS algorithm, CANS training, CANS usage in service planning, prioritization of interventions, placement matching, permanency planning, and monitoring or children’s progress. • Lynn Steiner, MSW created the training reference guide for the eCANS system for Texas DFPS and provided training, coaching, and help desk on the use of the eCANS system. • Quadrangle Systems, Inc. developed the eCANS portal and database for Texas DFPS, and provides access to the eCANS system to Texas DFPS, STAR Health, and other CANS-certified providers. Project Deliverables 1. Texas CANS 2.0 Implementation, Technical Assistance, Support o April D. Fernando, PhD will continue to lead the implementation of the CANS and ANSA in Texas by providing technical assistance and consultation to the Texas DFPS Steering Committee. o Review and maintain the decision support model (aka algorithm) based on the Texas CANS 2.0. 2. Collaborative Helping Quality Inquiry (CHQ-In) Survey o The IPH Center team will administer the CHQ-In Survey to Texas DFPS social worker and supervisor skills related to using the CANS to fidelity. o Areas to be surveyed: ¦ The needs and competencies of social work staff for engaging youthand families ¦ Supervisor support and coaching on and alignment with accessing the information on youth and families via the CANS and their use of it in supervision ¦ Youth and Caregiver experiences and satisfaction regarding the support they are receiving, and the use of the CANS in the care process 3. Texas CANS 2.0 Training and Support o Conduct Super-Skilled User Training: Four (4) full-day or Eight (8) half-day training events o Provide Super-Skilled User CANS booster support training: One (1) 3-hour 2 training event o Facilitate web based DFPS Learning Collaboratives: Four (4) 1-hour webinars 4. eCANS Training & Help Desk o Members of the IPH Center Distance Learning team will provide help desk support for Texas DFPS’ eCANS database 5. Access & Help Desk o Members of the IPH Center Distance Learning team will make Texas CANS 2.0 Certification training available to additional DFPS and Single Source Continuum Contractors (SSCC) and provide help desk support ( 6. eCANS: CANS data entry platform provided by Quandrangle Systems, Inc. • Annual license • Report Suite • Data Feeds • Web hosting and storage • Mobile Apps (for iOS and Android) Qualifications of Key Staff April D. Fernando, PhD Background and experience: Dr. Fernando is the Associate Director for Workforce Development at the Center for Innovation in Population Health, and an Assistant Professor of Health, Behavior and Society at the College of Public Health, University of Kentucky. Dr. Fernando has over 14 years of experience working with non-profit agencies as well as child welfare and behavioral health care systems across the United States in implementing Transformational Collaborative Outcomes Management (TCOM) and utilizing the TCOM tools such as the Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths (CANS). She developed the CANS-Commercially Sexually Exploited version, which is used nationally. A licensed clinical psychologist, Dr. Fernando brings her years of experience as an educator, clinician, and mental health administrator to her work with TCOM and the CANS. Position Description: Dr. Fernando will be the Texas CANS 2.0 implementation lead for this project. In this role she will consult across the team to support the use of the Texas CANS 2.0 as a foundation for trauma-informed care and a data source for continuous quality improvement (CQI) efforts. 3 Joanne Trinkle, MSW Background and experience: Joanne Trinkle, MSW is a Senior Policy Analyst at the Center for Innovation in Population Health at the University of Kentucky. Ms. Trinkle earned her Master’s in Social Work from Syracuse University. Ms. Trinkle brings over 20 years of experience in providing training, technical assistance and systems change support within children’s mental health and public child welfare systems of care. Ms. Trinkle is a master trainer and subject matter expert on various topics including caring for children who have experienced trauma, child and adolescent development, and service provision within Medicaid funded programs for special populations. Position Description: Joan Trinkle will be the CANS training lead, administer the Collaborative Helping Quality Inquiry (CHQ-In) survey, and provide technical assistance, consultation, and feedback on CANS usage in support DFPS’ quality improvement efforts and fidelity to the TCOM framework. Lynn Steiner, MSW Background and experience: Ms. Steiner is a Senior Policy Analyst at the Center for Innovation in Population Health (IPH) at the University of Kentucky. Ms. Steiner is certified as a CAT Trainer and in this role, she provides training, technical assistance, and coaching so that this tool can be used for effective assessment, decision making and outcomes measurement. Prior to coming to IPH, Ms. Steiner worked at Chapin Hall providing CAT and CANS training and support, and at Northwestern University on multiple research projects providing project management support and leadership, training and evaluation. Ms. Steiner received her Master’s in Social Work from the Jane Addams College of Social Work at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Ms. Steiner has been the project liaison between Texas DFPS and Quandrangle Systems, Inc. over the past 5 years (with Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago and with the IPH). She created the eCANS training reference guide and will continue to support the eCANS platform for Texas DFPS. Position Description: Ms. Steiner will be the project manager and training lead for eCANS support. Quadrangle Systems, Inc., eCANS developer As the original developer of the eCANS system, Quandrangle Systems, Inc. will continue to provide a customized CANS data entry system for Texas DFPS. They have continuously improved the eCANS portal over the past 5 years and have committed to developing secure mobile platforms, in the near future. 4
Effective start/end date2/1/228/31/24


  • Texas Department of Family and Protective Services: $717,257.00


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