Resources & Products

AVAILABLE NOW: CANS Application Video Training

The CANS Application Video Training, was developed in conjunction with our CCTASI Regional CANS-Trauma Consortium, made up of child welfare administrators and staff, behavioral health staff and CANS trainers from Indiana, Wisconsin, Illinois and Tennessee. The training is broken out into 5 Learning Areas demonstrating how the CANS tool can be meaningfully incorporated into child welfare practice. This training is intended to engage the audience in a discussion about how to make the CANS more meaningful in practice and is meant for use in professional development training to support caseworkers, casework supervisors, and other service providers working with child welfare involved youth. 


Learning Area 1: Introducing and Explaining the CANS to Families
  • Orienting families and youth to the CANS is an important part of engagement– it increases transparency and may increase family trust, involvement and cooperation.
  • It takes practice to become comfortable introducing and explaining the CANS to families. There are challenges and you will have to develop your own style.
  • There are different ways to complete or score the CANS. Your approach may depend on your and the family’s preference and comfort level.
  • There are benefits of reviewing the CANS scores with family members initially and over time.
Learning Area 2: Engaging the Family Using the CANS
  • It takes practice to effectively engage a family in the case process using the CANS. What works for one family may not work for another.
  • Engagement with the CANS requires that youth and caregivers are encouraged to ask questions, weigh in, and agree/disagree with CANS ratings.
  • Reviewing the CANS scores with the caregiver(s) and youth allows them to ask questions, contribute their ideas and builds a mutual understanding about the next steps needed to get the child to return home.
Learning Area 3: Collaborating with Providers Using the CANS
  • The CANS can facilitate the process of casework staff sharing information with other providers. This can minimize the number of times that a family has to repeat their stories and also helps the family experience more continuity of care.
  • It is important for new providers to discuss and review scores from previous CANS with families. This can increase transparency and gives families the opportunity to adjust, clarify or add important pieces of information.
  • The CANS will ideally be used in Child and Family Team meetings as a method of acknowledging progress and successes, identifying remaining needs and ensuring that all members are on the same page regarding next steps.
Learning Area 4: Using the CANS in a Child and Family Team Meeting
  • Using the CANS as part of a team meeting may provide an opportunity for all members of the team to:
    • Contribute their perspectives
    • Ask clarifying questions
    • Develop a shared understanding of progress
    • Identify and discuss outstanding needs
    • Develop new goals or plans for the family that are directly tied to areas of continued need
Learning Area 5: Using the CANS in Supervision
  • Incorporating the CANS into the supervision process is essential to understanding the challenges and successes caseworkers have with using the tool in a collaborative way.
  • Supervisory support can be critical to a caseworker’s success in using the CANS meaningfully in practice.
  • There are written resources that can be used to support the use of the CANS in supervision and casework practice.
  • The direction and support a supervisor provides in use of the CANS can have impact on the quality of service provided to child welfare-involved youth and families.

For access to the 5 Learning Area presentations, video clips, facilitator’s guide, support materials, and training evaluations, click the link below. 

Already completed a CANS Application Video Training? Complete the facilitator’s survey below to share your experience!

Remembering Trauma: Connecting the Dots Between Complex Trauma & Misdiagnosis in Youth

Remembering Trauma is a short film highlighting the life of a traumatized youth from his early childhood into older adolescence. The film illustrates the impact of complex trauma and the potential for misdiagnosis across various service systems. “Remembering Trauma Part 2” incorporates scenes from the narrative Part 1 film, with poignant commentary from real world professionals who work across child-serving settings, including school, juvenile justice and mental health. These films were developed in collaboration with partners from the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) and creator of the ReMoved film series, Nathanael Matanick. To watch the films and download resources, check out

Never Give Up: A Video by Youth For Youth

This gripping film features a highly diverse cast of seven adolescents and young adults who examine the shared and unique challenges faced, mistakes made, and growth attained in the struggle to transcend legacies of developmental trauma. Unexpectedly insightful, unsentimentally poignant and always real, Never Give Up is an offering of collective wisdom, inspiration and hope for young people ensnared by adverse life experiences such as chronic neglect, violence, abuse, bullying, and exploitation from seven peers and mentors who came just before them and found their way through. This ground-breaking product developed by the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) specifically for youth.

For more information on Complex Trauma, visit the website at:

 CANS-Trauma Comprehensive


The Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths Trauma Comprehensive is a unique trauma-focused assessment strategy and multi-purpose tool that is comprehensive yet flexible. It is designed to integrate all the information gathered about the child and family in one place, (i.e., other measures, interviews, observations, etc.). The CANS can be used to track client progress over time and it also acts as a helpful “translational” tool for service and treatment planning and family engagement.




CANS-Trauma Resources

The following resources have been created to help service and treatment providers in translating a child’s CANS scores into meaningful applications for caregivers, youth, and providers. The resources were designed to highlight information about a child and family’s needs and strengths, service planning recommendations and even concrete treatment goals.

Resource Download

Instructions: Please check the box to the left of the resources that you wish to download. Upon submitting, you will be asked to complete a brief survey that helps us track the location and types of providers/service systems that are requesting our resources. Once complete, the list of clickable resources that you chose will appear at the bottom of the screen for you to download.

CANS-Trauma Comprehensive Manual and Scoring Sheet

Manual de Necesidades y Fortalezas de Niños y Adolescentes

Using the CANS with Complexly-Traumatized Children Creative Applications for Different Professional Roles

Guidelines for Using the CANS in Trauma-Informed Assessment, Treatment Planning, and Treatment

Summary Guidelines to Using the CANS in Trauma-Informed Treatment and Service Planning

Using the CANS with Children and Families: A Tip Sheet

Use of the CANS in Trauma-Informed Treatment and Service Planning

Please note that while the CANS-Trauma is a free access tool, training and certification on the CANS are required for its reliable and valid use in practice. Several versions of the CANS are currently in existence; certification on the CANS-Trauma may not fulfill specific state-mandated training requirements, which can vary across states and jurisdictions. Training and certification may be obtained via our CANS-Trauma Training website (click on the icon to the right) or can be scheduled in-person upon request.

CANS-Trauma Certification


The Praed Foundation’s collaborative training website is for certification on the CANS. To access the CANS-Trauma training certification for FREE, contact for your unique coupon code.