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Michigan Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths - MichiCANS

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Department of Health and Human Services

Michigan Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths - MichiCANS

Family talking to care team representative

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is implementing a standardized assessment process by using a tool called the Michigan Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths (MichiCANS).  Beginning October 1, 2024, all Community Mental Health Service Providers (CMHSP) and Prepaid Inpatient Health Plans (PIHP) in Michigan will be incorporating the MichiCANS into their access, intake, and service planning processes for children, youth, and their families/caregivers. 

The MichiCANS is a collaborative tool crafted to explore and communicate the needs and strengths of the child/youth and family. This allows staff to listen to the experiences of the child and family; and together, the child, family, and care team can prioritize action steps and track changes.

The MichiCANS is made up of domains that focus on important areas of the child’s/youth’s life and ratings that help the provider, child/youth, and family understand where intensive or immediate action is most needed and where a child/youth has strengths that could become a major part of the treatment or service plan. 

The MichiCANS is composed of two parts: the MichiCANS Screener, to be completed at the child/youth’s point of access; and the MichiCANS Comprehensive, which is completed at intake, and periodically during the implementation of services to reflect growth, progress, and changes in life events. The information that is collected through the MichiCANS Screener will flow into the MichiCANS Comprehensive to avoid requiring the family to share their experiences twice.

This standardized assessment process will be fully implemented statewide by October 1, 2024. On January 8, 2024, MDHHS started a soft launch of the MichiCANS with several CMHSPs and PIHPs throughout the state.  These soft launch sites are piloting the use of the MichiCANS as a part of their access and intake process, and providers and the families they serve will have an opportunity to provide input about their experiences so that adjustments may be made to improve the process prior to statewide implementation. 

Please direct questions regarding the MichiCANS to MDHHS-MichiCANS@michigan.gov

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