Office of Mental Health

Children’s Mental Health Single Point of Access

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.

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.

For a complete copy of Report 2004-S-83 click here.
For a copy of the 90-day response click here.
For a copy of the associated follow-up report click here.