The Single Point of Access (SPA) aims to ensure a consistent and efficient response to referrals to the Children and Family Health Devon. The SPA co-ordinates incoming referrals and seeks to ensure that they follow the appropriate pathway for the child's needs.
All complex referrals are screened and discussed by a multi-disciplinary group of professionals who decide on the appropriate response. These professionals include staff from within Children and Family Health Devon and from services outside it such as acute hospitals, education and social care.
The SPA works in collaboration with social workers from Devon County Council and aims to support the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) by ensuring there is a response to referrals which do not meet the immediate safeguarding criteria of the MASH but which may meet child in need criteria.
Examples of referrals include disruptive or anti-social behaviour, lack of parental support or boundaries, risk of offending, poor attendance or exclusion from school, bullying, special educational needs and disabilities. They can also include disengagement from education, substance misuse, anxiety or depression, experiencing domestic violence, teenage pregnancy and parenthood and young carers who exhibit additional needs which are as a direct result of their caring responsibilities.