Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Guest Spot: Parents Feedback on the CANS process

I am wondering if parents who read this blog can provide feedback on what their feelings are regarding the CANS (Children Adolescent Needs and Strength) assessment tool that will be administered starting on December 1st. Here are some questions and points of information to be aware of:

1) How do parents feel that certain information about their child/teen will be still transmitted to the virtual gateway for viewing by the Departments of Public and Mental Health and Mass Health after they decline to have the CANS assessment administered in a mental health agency?

2) Do parents have the right to decline intensive services if their child's SED (Serious Emotional Disturbance) score makes him/her eligible to receive this service?

3) Will parents be reported to the Department of Children and Families if they decline services for the above mentioned?

4) Clinicians were trained to pass the CANS test to be certified only. They were not trained to interpret a SED score. It is quite mind boggling that some clinicians trained and certified to administer the CANS do not even know what the CANS's purpose is.

What can you do? Do your homework on what the CANS assessment tool is and ask questions on why and how the scores from this tool will be useful, and who will be reviewing this information.

Robbin Miller
Advocate/Private Practitioner

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