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F&C Functional Assessment Tools: CANS & PSC-35

The Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) has selected the Pediatric Symptom Checklist (PSC-35) (parent/caregiver version) and Child & Adolescent Needs & Strengths (CANS) to measure child and youth functioning, as intended by Welfare and Institutions Code Section 14707.5. Santa Clara County Behavioral Health Services Department (SCCBHSD) was scheduled for implementation on July 1, 2018, and is required to collect and report data obtained from the PSC-35, as well as the CANS, to DHCS. SCCBHSD has been utilizing the CANS since 2012, whereas the PSC-35 is new to our County.

  • The Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths (CANS) is an assessment process in addition to a multi-purpose tool developed for children’s services to support decision making, e.g., level of care and service planning, facilitate quality improvement initiatives, and monitor the outcomes of services. The measure is based on research findings that “optimally effective treatment of children and youth should include both efforts to reduce symptomatology and efforts to use and build strengths” (Lyons, 2009).
  • "The PSC-35 is a psychosocial screening tool designed to facilitate the recognition of cognitive, emotional, and behavioral problems so appropriate interventions can be initiated as early as possible.” (IN 17-052, p 2)
  • SCCBHSD uses two versions of the CANS: Early Childhood ("EC") for ages Birth to 5, and the Comprehensive 5+ for ages 6 and up. The CANS 5+ has an 18+ module for our TAY programs serving youth over age 18. The PSC-35 is to be used for youth ages 3 to 18.

For more information on using the CANS and in Santa Clara County, please contact:

Behavioral Health - CANS & PSC-35
Juvenile Probation - CANS
Amanda Vierra
Amanda.Vierra@hhs.sccgov.org
(408) 793-6451
Mariel Caballero
Mariel.Caballero@pro.sccgov.org
(408) 483-8841
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Below you will find overview documents, forms (score sheets), manuals, and resource links for the SCCBHSD CANS and the PSC-35. Items in development and are not yet posted include: PSC-35 FAQs, Update to Workgroup Charter (including change of title and format), and future updates to CANS: EC.
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Last updated: 8/14/2019 2:32 PM