Thursday, August 30, 2012

States Address Psychotropic Medication Management for Youth in Foster Care

The Administration for Children and Families hosted a summit in Washington, D.C., earlier this week to allow representatives from every state to engage in peer learning and hear from national experts about patterns of psychotropic medication use in foster-care children and strategies for improving oversight and monitoring. Because Minds Matter: Collaborating to Strengthen Psychotropic Medication Management for Children and Youth in Foster Care, was attended by representatives of child-welfare agencies, mental health authorities, and Medicaid offices.

Because the child-welfare system is different in every state, bringing states together to talk about their challenges and solutions is an crucial first step in addressing this issue, said agency Commissioner Bryan Samuels in a conference call detailing the summit. "Having all the states here, with an opportunity to share information and approaches, is critical," he stressed.

The Government Accountability Office recently examined the issue of psychotropic medication use in foster-care children after charges that they were being overused. Read about their findings in Psychiatric News, here. On a related topic, a recent article in Psychiatric Services in Advance examined whether youth placed with child-protective services after investigations of maltreatment by child-welfare agencies received needed mental health services.

(Image: John Steel/


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