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Child Welfare & Adult Protection

The CANS, the FAST and sometimes version of the ANSA are commonly used in child welfare applications around the US and the world.     The SSIT is very widely used in child welfare systems in the United States but those applications will be discussed under Organizational Culture and Climate.

The FAST is the tool of choice when an assessment process is initiated prior to any decision about child removal and custody.   The goal of these community-based programs is generally to address family needs and support families in their communities without having to resort to taking custody of children.   Some applications have been created where the FAST supports removal decisions by generating safety and risk indicators.

The CANS is the tool of choice when an assessment process is initiated at the point at which a child is removed from their family and foster care is initiated.  At that point, the jurisdiction has assumed a parental level of responsibility for the child’s wellbeing and a fulsome understanding of each child’s needs and strengths is required to support planning in foster care. In child welfare applications, CANS is often used to support customized plans of care.  In addition, the CANS is often used to support level of care and placement decisions. Formal decision models have been created in a number of jurisdictions to support a variety of decisions including Qualified Residential Treatment Programs (QRTP) as defined in the Families First federal legislation in the United States.

Versions of the ANSA have been used to assist in planning reunification efforts. In most cases, children are removed because of a plethora of needs experienced by their parent(s).   Successfully resolving at least some of these needs is often a condition of reunification. The ANSA is used to assist in these processes.