Office of Mental Health
Children’s Mental Health Single Point of Access (Follow-Up Report)
In the Single Point of Access process, children who are at risk of being placed in out-of-home settings because of mental health problems are evaluated by local government agencies to determine whether the children’s needs can be met by community-based services instead. Children whose needs can be met in this way are provided with community-based services and monitored by the local agencies. The process was initiated in 2001 by the Office of Mental Health (OMH) and is overseen by OMH’s regional offices.
In audit 2004-S-83, we examined OMH’s implementation and oversight of the process. We found that the process had been implemented in all but four counties (four of the five boroughs in New York City). Since a large percentage of the State’s population resides in these four boroughs, we recommended continued efforts on the part of OMH to ensure full statewide implementation. In addition, when we visited selected counties, we identified inconsistencies in evaluation and placement practices and found that services were not always provided to children in a timely manner. We recommended certain improvements in the oversight provided by OMH. When we followed up on these matters with OMH officials, we found that they had made progress in implementing our audit recommendations, but additional progress was still needed.
For a complete copy of Report 2007-F-36 click here.