Child/Adolescent Needs & Strengths


The Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths (CANS) tool is an assessment strategy that is designed to be used for decision support and outcomes management. Its primary purpose is to allow a system to remain focused on the shared vision of serving children and families, by representing children at all levels of the system.

This online self-paced course summarizes the CANS tool and how it will be used in practice.

Note: This course uses audio and video. Each module below will launch into a separate browser window/tab.


If you have completed the CANS online modules and have taken the practice vignettes,

Access the CANS Exam in PDS Online

General Information

  • Completion of all modules of this training equals 2 Continuing Education Hours (CEHs).
  • Before you begin, please download and have available all of the resources listed in the "Essential Resources" box. They will be vital as you go through the training.
  • You are encouraged to review the document titled "CANS Item Level Additional Guidance" for expanded information regarding commonly misunderstood items.
  • If you fail to reach the required reliability twice, your results will be evaluated and feedback will be provided.
  • The Wisconsin Child Welfare Professional Development System will not provide supervisors with lists of workers and their CANS results. Agencies are responsible for creating internal processes to ensure their workers are maintaining CANS certification.
  • There is no process to alert workers of the need for recertification. It is the responsibility of each worker to know their certification date and to maintain their certification.
  • For questions about this training and certification process, please contact Megan Baltz at
  • You have 240 minutes to complete the CANS Certification Exam.  After 4 hours, the system will automatically log out.