Intensive Placement Stabilization (IPS)

What is Intensive Placement Stabilization (IPS) Services?

IPS is a short-term placement stabilization program that provides services to children in foster care. IPS is expected to provide a mix of formal and informal supports to families to promote placement stability. As such, each service array is flexible, individualized and tailored to the needs of the child and family. A typical service array might include individual and family therapy, respite, family support, crisis intervention, recreation supplies, tutoring, school advocacy, and psychosocial education.



How should I submit my CANS?

All Intensive Placement Stabilization (IPS) workers will complete and submit CANS via SACWIS moving forward. . If you do not already have an NT account to access SACWIS, please have your supervisor submit a new NT account form found on the DNet. If you do not yet have access to CANS in SACWIS, please ensure you have gone through CANS certification or recertification, as well as other training requirements such as the CANS in SACWIS Functionality training.


Do I need to be certified in the CANS?

All staff must have been certified or recertified on CANS 2.0 within the last year in order to gain access to CANS in SACWIS. All relevant trainings and certification are provided within the DCFS Virtual Training Center ( For specific questions regarding this process, please contact your supervisor, program administrator or the DCFS CANS use email (


What version of the CANS do I complete?

CANS 2.0. 


Who should be scored on the CANS?

The CANS should be completed on each child in the case and include caregiving scores for every adult in the home providing any level of caregiving or interaction with that child. This could be a temporary caregiver (such as within a safety plan), foster parents, grandparents, aunt, girl/boyfriend of a parent in the home, etc.

If you are working with any type of substitute caregiver (foster parent, grandmother, paramour, etc.) they must be added to your case in SACWIS as a “collateral”. Information on this process can be reviewed in the CANS in SACWIS Functionality Training available on the DCFS Virtual Training Center (


How often should I complete the CANS?

The CANS should be completed within 30 days of case opening and at time of case close or case extension request.


Do I need my supervisor’s approval before submitting my CANS?

Yes.  Once you have completed scoring a CANS for each youth and the associated caregivers to that youth (biological parents, foster parents, paramours, etc,) in SACWIS.  You need to submit your CANS for approval to your supervisor.  If your supervisor is not able to approve your submitted CANS, you may use the reroute feature and send it to another supervisor for approval. Once you submit the completed CANS, your supervisor may send it back to you for revision and re-submission. Supervisors must approve your submitted CANS. If your supervisor determines your submitted CANS is not an accurate reflection of the needs and strengths of the family, it will be returned to you for editing.


When is my CANS considered complete?

A CANS is consided completed when:

  • All child items are scored and
  • All caregiver items are scored for each involved caregiver (bioparent, fosterparent) and
  • All collaterals have been scored (paramours, significant caregivers)

Data Management

Northwestern processes all CANS for the placement program submitted through SACWIS. Our data management includes storage and analysis of CANS data for reporting purposes.  We compile monthly and quarterly reports on your CANS data and provide them to DCFS administration.

Training and Quality Assurance

CANS are thoroughly reviewed by our staff to ensure Quality Control. When CANS do not meet QC metrics, clinicians receive follow-up support. Click HERE to access scoring tip sheets to ensure the accuracy and fidelity of your scores.