Hello!  Welcome to the San Bernardino CANS website.


We are happy to be part of the countywide implementation of a standardized assessment tool so that we all can work towards meeting the needs of children, youth and families through a strength-based needs-driven approach.

The Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths (CANS) Comprehensive Assessment is being used throughout the United States by many different organizations and individuals.

  • The CANS, developed by John S. Lyons, PhD, was modified for use by the Department of Behavioral Health San Bernardino County.


  • The CANS is a document that organizes clinical information collected during a behavioral health assessment in a consistent manner to improve communication among those involved in planning care for a child or adolescent.


  • The CANS is also used as a decision-support tool to guide care planning and to track changing strengths and needs over time.


  • The CANS has three primary uses—as a decision support tool, as a quality improvement tool and as an outcome monitoring tool.


  • As an assessment tool, the CANS can be used by child and family teams to develop a plan of care.


  • As a quality improvement tool, the CANS can be used with the Treatment Fidelity Index to determine if the strengths and needs identified are incorporated into the plan of care.


  • As an outcome monitoring tool, the CANS may be used by the larger systems of care to track aggregate improvement by children and families on the entire tool or on a particular domain of the tool.

    On this website, you will find basic information on the CANS-SB:

    • resources related to using the CANS-SB

    • training information on the CANS-SB

    • CANS-SB manuals & forms

    • other useful materials for implementing the CANS-SB.


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Department of Behavioral Health. All Rights Reserved.