Clinical View 7 | NOV/DEC 2018 CANS and the Nexus Practice Model Paula Minske Vice President of Clinical Services As I reflect on the past 3 years and the development of the Nexus Practice Model and implementation of the Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths (CANS) functional assessment, I am excited about our future; it looks bright! This clinical movement started with the Nexus Practice Model, developed by the Nexus Clinical team. Most don’t know that the CANS is a tool that was mindfully chosen based on our Practice Model. The CANS helps us focus on and value all of the principles outlined in the Nexus Practice Model. The CANS can help guide decisions on many levels. At the day-to-day level, the CANS drives the treatment/service planning with youth and families. Knowing a youth’s needs and strengths guides the work we do to help reach our goals of safety, permanency, and wellbeing. The data can show us that the work we do decreases a youth’s risk factors and increases their protective factors. The graph on the bottom of the next page shows our youths’ needs and strengths measured at intake and discharge, and quantifies the change in the right column. This shows that 66% of youth come into care being involved in their own care, making decisions, asking questions, and being part of the treatment team. As we include them into our planning, their involvement increased to 77% from intake to discharge. This is because we focus on individualized care, with a strength focus. We want youth to advocate for themselves and be part of the process.
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