Introducing “Use of the CANS in Trauma-Informed Treatment and Service Planning” Resource

“Use of the CANS in Trauma-Informed Treatment and Service Planning” Resource
Adapted from our larger resource “Guidelines for Using the CANS in Trauma-Informed Assessment, Treatment, and Service Planning” (available for download on our website), Dr. Cassandra Kisiel released a concise and comprehensive version of this resource, initially at our CANS-FANS BSC. This 10-page document, titled “Use of the CANS in Trauma-Informed Treatment and Service Planning” is intended to assist clinicians, case work staff, supervisors, and administration in applying the Child and Adolescent Need and Strengths (CANS) tool to trauma-informed treatment and service planning. This document is AVAILABLE NOW on our website under the Resources & Products Tab for free download!
Through visual models, and step-by-step strategies, this 10-page printable resource incorporates information to help you answer the following questions:
  • What is trauma-informed service and treatment planning as informed by CANS-Trauma?
  • How can I used the CANS tool scores in a meaningful way when planning trauma-informed services?
  • What are the recommended steps and strategies for using the CANS in planning treatment and services?
  • How can I incorporate Caregiver CANS scores into trauma-informed treatment and service planning?
We look forward to your feedback on this resource and hope that it helps to support your work with youth and families who have experienced trauma.

SAMHSA’s National Child Traumatic Stress Initiative Launches New Campaign

The Center for Child Trauma Assessment, Services and Interventions (CCTASI) at Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine is proud to announce that our sponsor, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) National Child Traumatic Stress Initiative (NCTSI) has launched a new campaign called “Helping Kids Recover and Thrive.” The campaign aims to raise awareness of child traumatic stress and the many resources available to help address it, and includes new PSAs in English and Spanish, as well as a Website and a series of new materials.
Numerous children and youth experience traumatic events ranging from serious injuries and illnesses to interpersonal violence, abuse, and neglect to natural or human-caused disasters. One nationally representative sample of children and youth aged 1 month to 17 years old, 57.7% of the children and youth had experienced or witnessed at least 1 of the following: assaults and bullying, sexual victimization, maltreatment by a caregiver, property victimization, or witnessing victimization in 2012. It was also common to have had multiple exposures.
But there is hope. Just as CCTASI strives to build an infrastructure to assist child-serving systems in understanding, recognizing, and responding to the developmental effects of child trauma, SAMHSA’s NCTSI strives to help combat child traumatic stress and for children to recover and thrive through its New Website, PSAs, materials, and grantees.
SAMHSA Website
Since Congress’s Children’s Health Act of 2000, NCTSI has been actively helping children and their families recover and thrive through the funding and support of a network of intervention developers, frontline providers, researchers, and families called the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN). In fact, since its inception, NCTSN has trained more than one million health professionals including mental health professionals, primary care providers, and other professionals in child-serving systems, consumers, and members of the public. Additionally, more than 200 grants have been awarded to 180 member centers providing trauma treatment to thousands, and these centers have been able to provide evidence-based treatment to hundreds of thousands of children, adolescents, and their families.
To view NCTSI’s PSAs and learn more about NCTSI, visit


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Good Luck at Learning Session 3, CCTASI!


Wishing our CCTASI Team GOOD LUCK in Baltimore, MD as they partner with the FITT Team at their last Learning Session for the CANS-Trauma, FANS-Trauma Breakthrough Series Collaborative! We look forward to updating our partners and collaborators on this process in our Winter Newsletter!
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Announcing Breakthrough Series Collaborative


The Center for Child Trauma Assessment, Services and Interventions (CCTASI) at Northwestern University and the Family-Informed Trauma Treatment (FITT) Center at the University of Maryland are excited to announce the release of the application for The Meaningful Use of the CANS-Trauma & FANS-Trauma with Youth and Families: A Breakthrough Series Collaborative (BSC). For more information on the BSC download our informational power point slides.



BSC Informational Call Power Point Slides



CANS Expert Meetings

Thanks to all who came to our expert meetings…. we had a great turn out!

Here is where all of our meeting participants hail from! 



Expert Meeting Recap

On August 12th and 13th, 2014 CCTASI hosted two collaborative expert meetings related to advancing innovations and applications of child and family trauma assessment, and applications of the CANS in casework practice.
The meeting on August 12th was co-sponsored by the Center for Child Trauma Assessment, Services and Interventions (CCTASI) at Northwestern and the Family Informed Trauma Treatment (FITT) Center at the University of Maryland. The focus of the meeting was planning for a national Breakthrough Series Collaborative, designed to support participating teams in the meaningful use of the CANS-Trauma and FANS-Trauma assessments in trauma-informed, family-focused practice. As a first step, meeting participants spent time refining a Collaborative Change Framework which will act as a guiding document for this Collaborative.
The expert meeting on August 13th focused on Trauma-Informed, Assessment Driven Casework Practice using the CANS. Participants engaged in a number of sessions and small group discussions throughout the day to inform the development of resources and techniques to enhance the use of applications of the CANS in trauma-informed casework practice. This included generating feedback on existing planning resources and brainstorming ideas for new resources and tools, as well as focusing on strategies to support the more effective use of the CANS with family members and staff.
For more information about the meetings, the slides are available for download!
Day 1 Slides (Innovations and Applications in Trauma-Informed Child and Family Assessment: A Breakthrough Series Collaborative) 
Day 2 Slides (Trauma-Informed, Assessment-Driven Casework Practice Using the CANS)
Here are brief one page summaries of the meetings and evaluation results.
Day 1 Summary
Day 2 Summary
Download CCTASI Resources by visiting our Resources and Products Page





TF-CBT Resources

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  • Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Children” (Chapter)

    by Amy L. Hoch in the book Treatment for Traumatized Adults

    and Children: Clinician’s Guide to Evidence-Based Practice

    (Eds. Allen Rubin & David W. Springer)

    Helping Families Heal, by the CARES Institute
    Mommy’s Black Eye, by William Bentrim
    A Terrible Thing Happened, by Margaret M. Holmes & Sasha J. Mudlaff
    Please Tell!: A Child’s Story About Sexual Abuse, by “Jessie”
    Brave Little Panda, by “Asians Against Violence”














Comic Strip Templates – try using a comic strip template to format the trauma narrative





  • Cohen, J.A., & Mannarino, A.P. (2011). Supporting children with traumatic grief: What educators need to know. School Psychology International, 32(2), 117-131.


Email Nicole Maj ( for a copy of the article




Resources from 2013 CANS Conference


Thanks to all of the 2013 CANS conference attendees who expressed interest in our Center’s

CANS trauma resources.

Conference resources are available to download below and additional CANS trauma resources are available on our

Resources and Products page. Please also take 5 minutes to fill out a survey on the developmental effects of trauma

so we can better understand how to support agencies and

providers in learning about trauma and trauma assessment.

Click HERE to take the survey.

CANS Resources final

Power Point presentations and resources from Drs. Cassandra Kisiel and Tracy Fehrenbach:




Measures (not official CCTASI products or resources):




Child Trauma Symposium Discussion Board


New Materials from

the Conference are now Available!


Materials on the Childhood Adverse Experiences study (Robert Anda, MD, MS)

Funding Health from Conception to the Grave

Overview of the Adverse Childhood Experiences (PowerPoint)

Materials from Bruce Perry, MD, PhD

Introduction to the Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics (PowerPoint)

The Role of Healthy Relational Interactions in Buffering the Impact of


The Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics

Trauma, Violence and Resilience

Symposium Presentation from Bryan Samuels, Commissioner, Administration on Children, Youth and Families

Using a Trauma Lens to Address

Maltreatment (PowerPoint)

Symposium Presentation from Larke Nahme Huang, PhD (SAMHSA)

A Comprehensive Public Health Approach to Child Trauma (PowerPoint)


Flyer Website


Keep the Conversation about Trauma Going!