The Cattaraugus County Department of Community Services uses the Single Point of Access (SPOA) model for assessment of referrals for children and adolescents who meet the following criteria:
- Age 18 and under;
- Carry a diagnosis indicating serious emotional disability;
- Involved with other service providers such as School, Committee on Special Education, Child Welfare or Child Protection Services, and Juvenile Justice/Probation.
Children referred from hospitals are given high priority for utilization of the SPOA model.
Children age 7 and under can also be assessed and followed by the SPOA process.
The SPOA model ensures that a strong collaboration will be developed between parents and service providers and that services will be delivered in a coordinated way between home-school-and community.
The SPOA process involves:
- Partnership between the parent/caregivers with the service providers working with the child and family
- Emphasis is placed on working with the whole family.
- The parent may choose to invite providers from all agencies to meet together to discuss the strengths and concerns of the child.
- After assessment by the intake staff, a team SPOA meeting is scheduled for goals to be identified.
- The team consists of parent(s)/guardian(s) and involved staff from other agencies who meet to determine the strengths and needs of the child and family.
- Future SPOA meetings will be set up to monitor progress and identify ways to sustain improvements.
- A crisis plan is also part of each SPOA review.
Conventional Mental Health Services vs. SPOA
Difference Between Conventional Mental Health Services and Single Point of Access Children's Mental Health Collaborative
|Traditional Mental Health System||Collaborative Mental Health Process|
|Individual Approach||Team Approach|
|Focus on client deficit/pathology||Focus on youth & family strengths|
|Parents are clients||Parents are partners|
|Parents are part of the problem||Parents are part of the solution|
|Office and residential-based services||Home and community-based services|
|Agency needs||Child and family needs|
|Different systems / different advice||Comprehensive plan|
|Parent / youth on their own||Family receives wrap-around services|
|Stand alone service||Part of a larger network of care|
|Orthodox approach||Flexible plan based on youth / family needs|
|"Color Blind"||Culturally competent (appropriate)|
Children & Youth SPOA Meeting Schedule
Usually meet the Second and Fourth Monday of each month; Except October and December, due to Holidays.
Meetings are at 9:30AM in the Administrative Conference Room of the County Office Building in Olean.
Children & Youth SPOA Packet:
Referral Packet Completed packets can be returned to the fax or email address below.
For more information, please contact:
Melissa Ball, MSEd, LMHC, NCC
SPOA Coordinator for Cattaraugus County
(o) 716-373-0980 ext 5401