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Community Services Vision: Promote a higher quality of life for those we serve through effective treatment and prevention, nurturing cooperative relationships, and continued development of programs and services. Read more

Single Point of Accountability for Children & Youth

The Cattaraugus County Department of Community Services uses the Single Point of Accountability model for assessment of referrals of 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 child protection services, and juvenile justice/probation.

Children referred from hospitals are also given high priority for utilization of the SPOA model. In addition, children age 7 and under will also be assessed and followed by the SPOA process.

The SPOA process involves the formation of a 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 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.

The SPOA model insures 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.

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 SystemCollaborative Mental Health Process
Individual ApproachTeam Approach
Focus on client deficit/pathologyFocus on youth & family strengths
Parents are clientsParents are partners
Parents are part of the problemParents are part of the solution
Office and residential-based servicesHome and community-based services
Agency needsChild and family needs
Different systems / different adviceComprehensive plan
Parent / youth on their ownFamily receives wrap-around services
Stand alone servicePart of a larger network of care
Orthodox approachFlexible 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.

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