Child & Adolescent Needs and Strengths

  1. Training & Certification Access
  2. Child & Adolescent Needs and Strengths

What is the CANS?

The Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths tool is a multi-purpose, person-centered, and trauma informed tool. CANS is used to better gauge children coming into custody and ensure that their plans are individualized and addresses both the needs and the strengths of the child and their family.

Needs: areas where a child requires help or intervention. Needs are ranked by intensity; these rankings are then used to identify intervention priorities.

Strengths: the child’s assets, abilities, interests, and areas of success. Through CANS, these strengths are used to develop interventions.

The CANS is mandatory throughout CYFD-Protective Services and at many affiliated community provider agencies.

What is the YSA?

The Youth Support Assessment is used by CYFD Behavioral Health Services and affiliated Community Provider agencies who work specifically with older/transition age youth. The YSA is a brief version of the CANS and should be used by those who have specifically been trained in that model.

Coupon Code

Certification is required prior to administering the CANS or the YSA. Both the certification and recertification exams have a per person fee to access the exam. CYFD currently sponsors certification and covers this fee, a coupon code is necessary to bypass the payment requirement. To request a code please click on the link below and the code will be emailed to you. The code is only for you and should be used within 30 days of receipt.


The copyright for the CANS is held by the Praed Foundation, through their Transformational Collaborative Outcomes Management TCOM (“tee-com”) system to oversee the CANS certification process. Training by an approved/certified trainer is required prior to taking the online CANS or YSA certification exam.


The CANS and YSA certifications must be renewed annually by retaking the TCOM certification exam. You will be reminded prior to your 12-month recertification date, but it is your responsibility to ensure your certification is active.

Once you are Certified

Once you are certified you need to send your certificate to your identified program point of contact so you can be set up in the data entry portal. Contact us if you need support being connected to the appropriate entity.