Screening and Assessment Tools for Child Welfare
Description / Purpose:
The CANS-MH is a comprehensive assessment of psychological and social factors for use in treatment planning. Domains assessed include general symptomology, risk behaviors, developmental functioning, personal/interpersonal functioning, and family functioning. The CANS-MH is intended to support case planning and evaluation of service systems.
Target Population: Children and adolescents with mental, emotional, or behavioral problems.
Intended Users: Child and adolescent mental health service providers.
Time to Administer: 41 items, administration time approximately 10 minutes.
Completed By: Mental health professionals, child welfare workers, parents, teachers, or other service providers. The CANS-MH may also be used retrospectively based on archival case data.
Modalities Available: Paper and pencil.
Scoring Information: The CANS-MH manual and scoring information are available from the Praed Foundation
Training Requirements for Intended Users: Bachelor's degree with some coursework in mental health testing. Training and certification in the use of the measures is required. Information can be obtained from the Praed Foundation at email@example.com
Availability: The measure can be obtained free of charge from the Praed Foundation but training and certification are required by the publisher, Praed Foundation, to use it.
Summary of Relevant Psychometric Research
This assessment has received the Assessment Rating of "B – Reliability and/or Validity Level Above Face Validity Demonstrated" based on the published, peer-reviewed research available. The assessment must have 1 or more published, peer-reviewed studies that demonstrated that the measure is reliable and valid. Please see the Assessment Rating Scale for more information.
Anderson, R. L., Lyons, J. S., Giles, D. M., Price, J. A., & Estle, G. (2003). Reliability of the Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths-Mental Health (CANS-MH) Scale. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 12(3), 279-289.
Participants — 60 children and adolescents (7 days to 17.5 years) admitted to a facility providing protective and mental health services.
Race/Ethnicity — 78% White, 10% Black, 8% biracial, 3% Hispanic.
The CANS-MH was completed by caseworkers and independently by two non-clinical researchers. Inter-rater reliability was .81 overall and ranged from .72 for problem presentation to .85 for functioning on individual subscales. Caseworkers tended to give higher severity ratings on items relating to psychosis, antisocial behavior, sexual development, transportation needs, and relationship permanence than researchers.
Date Reviewed: June 2009