FAST Implementation Allegheny County DHS

Grants and Contracts Details


Abstract Allegheny County Department of Human Services FAST Implementation Purpose This proposal is to support the Allegheny County Department of Human Services implement a customized Family Advocacy Support Tool (FAST) for use in the County. The implementation will include the creation of a customized FAST reference guide, vignettes, training, technical assistance, and consultation. Qualifications The 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 FAST, broadens the strategy of personal transformation to addressing population health improvement. Methods 1. Technical Assistance, Consultation on FAST Implementation with Allegheny County Department of Human Services leadership. 2. Reference Guide and Vignette Development i. Creation of customized vignettes for FAST training ii. Develop a customized FAST Reference Guide for Allegheny County iii. Create a new Allegheny County FAST certification course on iv. Provide access to for Allegheny County trainees 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 works 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 FAST implementation lead for this project. In this role she will consult across the team to support the use of the FAST as a foundation for trauma- informed care and a data source for continuous quality improvement (CQI) efforts. John S. Lyons, PhD Background and experience: Dr. Lyons is the Director of the IPH Center and a Professor of Health Management and Policy in the College of Public Health. Across his 39-year career he has been an innovator and leader in outcome management and continuous quality improvement. He developed the theory of measurement—Communimetrics–behind the SSIT and the CANS. This year approximately 80% of all children and youth served in either child welfare or public behavioral health in the United States will receive a CANS assessment. Many implementations have sustained for nearly two decades evolving the approach consistent with the tenets of quality improvement. Dr. Lyons proposed the system management theory of TCOM which has been successfully used to foster positive change in systems across the United States and internationally. TCOM is the first person-centered theory of outcomes management and is intended to ‘engineer’ the implementation of person-centered thinking throughout a system of care. Dr. Lyons is a leader in research in residential treatment and psychiatric hospitalization and was Editor of the journal Residential Treatment for Children and Youth for seven years. Position Description: Dr. Lyons will provide FAST implementation technical assistance and consultation on this project.
Effective start/end date3/1/223/1/22


  • Allegheny County Department of Human Services: $38,263.00


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