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Public Comment Period Now Open for CSA Policy Regarding Uniform Assessment Instrument

On June 21, the State Executive Council approved a notice of intent to develop a consolidated policy regarding the use of the Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths Assessment (CANS). State statute requires use of a uniform assessment instrument in order for a child to be eligible for CSA services, and existing policy requires that CANS be the uniform assessment instrument. Details regarding the administration of CANS, such as how frequently the assessment must be performed and when a more extensive version of CANS must be used, are currently spelled out in guidance documents. The Office of Children’s Services has proposed to consolidate this guidance into a policy, and has convened a work group to assist in recommending ways to clarify expectations for the use of CANS.

VACo is represented on this work group, along with VML and several local CSA offices, and it is expected that the work group’s recommendations will shape the policy proposal that is presented to the State Executive Council.

Public comment on the notice of intent to develop policy will be accepted until 5 p.m. on August 10, 2018, and may be submitted through the Policy Public Comment Forum on the Office of Children’s Services’ website or via U.S. Mail to the Office of Children’s Services at 1604 Santa Rosa Rd. Suite 137, Richmond VA 23229, or via e-mail to

VACo Contact: Katie Boyle

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