For families and service providers who are seeking help for a child with an emotional disability who is at risk.
Children’s SPOA Services
Here is a brief list of the services that can be accessed through the Children’s SPOA. Participation is voluntary, and services are provided at no cost to families. Due to demand, some services may have a waiting list.
- Intensive Case Management (ICM)
- Supportive Case Management (SCM)
- Home Based Crisis Intervention (HBCI)
- Home and Community Based Services Waiver
- In-Home Respite
- Family Support
- Children’s Mental Health Housing (Residential Treatment Facilities and Community Residences)
The service provider or family completes the referral packet, in full, and sends it to the Children’s SPOA Practitioner.
The Children’s SPOA Committee reviews the referral and with the family’s input, determines eligibility.
If eligible (evidence of a serious emotional disability), the Children’s SPOA Committee develops and recommends a service plan. If not eligible, the Committee facilitates appropriate referrals/recommendations for the child.
Children on the waiting list, as well as those linked to services, are reviewed by the Committee regularly with input from the family and service providers to continually assess the appropriate level of service.
Families are regularly surveyed as to their satisfaction with the Children’s SPOA process and services provided.
Criteria for Referral
The following criteria must be met for consideration by the Children’s SPOA.
- Niagara County resident AND
- Ages 5 and up to 18 years AND
- Have a diagnosis of Severe Emotional Disturbance AND
- Have a Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF) Score of 50 or below AND
Meet at least one of the following criteria:
- Child’s ties to home, school or community are threatened.
- Has received psychiatric hospitalization or placement within the past two years, OR is currently at risk of such placement.
- Has exhibited suicidal symptoms or self-destructive behaviors within the past 12 months.
- Has had psychotic symptoms within the past 12 months.
- Is currently at risk of causing personal injuries or significant property damage as a result of his or her emotional disability.
- Has severe difficulties with at least two of the following: academics / school behavior; abuse / neglect; peer / social interactions; aggression; family functioning.
If you have questions on eligibility, call the Children’s SPOA Practitioner at 716/439-7527
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Children’s Single Point of Access (CSPOA)?
CSPOA was created to identify Niagara County’s youth who are most at risk and develop strategies to maintain them in the community. The Children’s SPOA will assess the strengths and needs of a child referred and create a plan to link the child to the most appropriate services.
What is the Children’s SPOA Committee?
The CSPOA Committee is comprised of representatives from mental health clinics, case management, housing, crisis services, respite and support services, and parents. It meets regularly to review referrals and develop plans for children referred. Referring family members and service providers are encouraged to attend the Children’s SPOA Committee meetings to participate in the planning process.
Who can be referred to the Children’s SPOA?
Generally, children and youth with serious emotional disabilities are referred to the Children’s SPOA. If a child does not have a serous emotional disability but is at risk and in need of help, the SPOA Committee will make recommendations to the family for appropriate services. Parents or service providers can refer a child.
To refer a child/youth to the Children’s Single Point of Access (CSPOA), a service provider and/or parent should complete a referral packet and send it to the CSPOA Practitioner.
Download an application here or request an application through mail:
Children’s SPOA Practitioner
c/o Niagara County Department
of Mental Health
5467 Upper Mountain Rd.
Lockport, NY 14094