What is 3 in 30?

All children who come into DFPS care need a good review of their physical and behavioral health needs right away. With the help of our medical partners and caregivers of children in foster care, CPS uses a practice called “3 in 30”, referencing 3 tools in 30 days.  3 in 30 combines three critical tools for assessing the medical, behavioral, and developmental strengths and needs of children and youth entering DFPS custody.

What are the components of 3 in 30?

3-Day Medical Exam

In 3 business days, some children entering DFPS care must see a medical provider to be checked for injuries or illnesses and get any needed treatments. Children who meet one of six criteria at the time of removal should receive  a 3-day exam.  [learn more]

These criteria are:

  • Removal due to physical abuse
  • Removal due to sexual abuse
  • Obvious physical injury
  • Chronic medical condition
  • Complex medical condition
  • Diagnosed mental illness

Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths (CANS) Assessment

Within 30 days, children (ages 3-17) must get a CANS assessment. The CANS is an evaluation that helps us understand the impact of trauma a child has been through, and how they are doing. The CANS identifies services that may help the child, such as counseling, as well as existing strengths to build on, such as positive relationships. [learn more]

Texas Health Steps Medical Checkup

Within 30 days, children must see a doctor for a complete check-up and any needed lab work. This makes sure:

  • We address medical issues early.
  • Kids are growing and developing as expected.
  • Caregivers know how to support strong growth and development. [learn more]

Children and youth who come to live with you must have the Texas Health Steps Medical Checkup and the CANS Assessment within 30 days of coming into the legal custody of DFPS.

Why is 3 in 30 Important?

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children and youth in care have significant medical needs.

  • Up to 80% of children come into care with at least one medical problem.
  • 1/3 of children come into care with a chronic medical condition.
  • Up to 80% of children and adolescents enter with a significant medical need.

The 3 in 30 approach helps DFPS and caregivers understand the needs and strengths of children in care quickly. The information gained from the tools can contribute to the service planning process and help provide better services to improve outcomes for children.

How can I learn more?

Please send questions about 3 in 30 to the DFPS 3 in 30 mailbox.