The Child, Adolescent and Family Assessment Summary (CAFAS)
The Child and Adolescent Functional Assessment Scale [CAFAS] is a well validated measurement tool that reflects a problem solving, time sensitive approach to mental health service delivery, CAFAS helps clinicians at EMYS to identify client needs, measure degrees of functional impairment, mark progress during treatment and evaluate the effectiveness of the treatment plan. It is one of several processes that we use to ensure an approach to treatment that addresses complex mental health needs while building on existing client and family strengths.
In Ontario, CAFAS is used to examine treatment outcomes for children and youth, aged 6 to 18 years, who receive mental health services in a participating community based children's mental health centre or hospital based children's mental health clinic. Data is compiled from all these organizations by CAFAS in Ontario at Hospital for Sick Children. Report scores are sent without identifying information ensuring confidentiality, but allowing for the comparison of the profiles of EMYS clients with those of others
As shown in the graph below, CAFAS data at the entry point per Province, Region and EMYS indicates that EMYS clients exhibit relatively more complex and severe behaviours than their provincial and regional counterparts. As illustrated below, mean scores are 27.4 points higher than those in the region and 31.4 points higher than those in the province. These high scores indeed corroborate the need to provide EMYS clients with more intensive services as well as a need to provide such services over longer periods.
The CAFAS contains a menu of descriptions of behaviour from which the EMYS clinician chooses those that best describe the client. It is organized into eight scales and rates the client with respect to school, home, community, behaviour towards others, moods and emotions, self harm, substance abuse and thinking. Consistent with the findings in the above table and overall, the table below indicates that in many domains, EMYS clients exhibit higher levels of dysfunction than those provincially and regionally. These patterns are particularly evident with regards to school, home and behaviour towards others domains.
In terms of treatment outcomes, the CAFAS data shows that clients at EMYS show marked improvements in various areas. Given that EMYS clients show a severity of problems in various domains at the pre data point, post scores show that there are considerable improvements in several domains. most notably school and home domains.