Credit hours:
2.50

Course Summary

The overuse of psychotropic medication for children and youth in foster care has been a popular topic for national news networks and in discussions among policy makers, child welfare professionals, and other stakeholders in the field. It is critical that foster parents have a strong understanding of this important issue, so they can help to manage the mental health and treatment of the young people they care for. This module will provide an introduction to the issue, as well as a tool that foster parents and caregivers can use with young people in their care to help manage mental health needs and decisions about psychotropic medications.

In this course, you can expect to learn:

  • General concerns with the use of psychotropic medications for children and youth

  • How to engage children and youth in your care in conversations about their mental health and the use of medication to manage it

  • Trauma-informed strategies to manage a child or youth’s mental health

Step 1

Read national media story "Foster Kids Given Psychiatric Drugs At Higher Rates" from National Public Radio (NPR) that provides an overview of the uses and concerns with psychotropic medication in foster care.

Step 2

Learn the impact psychotropic medications can have on young people and grow your understanding of potential behaviors that can occur in reaction to psychotropic medications. Read in-depth report "Colorado Responds Slowly to Psychotropic Drug Use Among Foster Kids" by the Denver Post, featuring FosterClub Lived Experience Leader Diego Conde.

Step 3

Review the "Making Healthy Choices" guide developed for youth in foster care that discusses making decisions about their mental health, treatment options, and the use of psychotropic medications.

Step 4

Learn more about treatment for youth in foster care who have experienced trauma and are working to improve their mental health by reviewing the guide "Supporting Youth in Foster Care in Making Healthy Choices" for caregivers and other supportive adults.

Step 5

Join the discussion in the comments below to answer the following question:

How should foster parents be consulted or actively participate in the treatment plans of children and youth they care for?

Step 6

Finished the module?  If you are logged in as a subscribed user, take the quiz to earn your Continuing Education Credit hours and certificate!

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Course Discussion

Q50mcneil's picture

Q50mcneil replied:

As a licensed healthcare worker, I am against putting a child younger than 3 years of age or 5 years of age especially if their are no symptoms on medications, be glad they are healthy and breathing and walking. I work with medically fragile youth who need and have to take medication and their times when they may feel discomfort and they may have doctors order. I never ignore doctors orders but Im lucky because their parents have the final say when administering as needed medication. If they are not in distress or pain There are other natural methods. Some as simple as soft music. And simple things such as non violent TV shows which at times may produce some of these aggressive moods. If they have ADHD. You have to find a way to fine tune that hyperactivity she's 3 how about ballet. Im sure she would love a tutu skirt. Michael Phelps has ADHD if she is not sick just monitor her because psychotropics on a growing and developing child. Im just Old School. Get some tennis shoes go to the park, keep her busy you are the parent when she can't sleep at night from the medication and when she goes through withdrawal SYMPTOMS because mommy can't stand in line at CVS for a refill. Im just against pushing drugs to children unless its medically needed especially is she does not have any symptoms not tearing up the house, not doing anything abnormal, but even if she is she may be bored. These kids are so much more advanced than we were. Good Luck
Q50mcneil's picture

Q50mcneil replied:

As a licensed healthcare worker and I am against putting a child younger than 3 years of age or 5 years of age especially if their are no symptoms. I work with medically fragile youth who need and have to take medication and their times when they may feel discomfort and they may have doctors order. I never ignore doctors orders but Im lucky because their parents have the say so when administering as needed medication. If they are not in distress or pain, then there are other natural methods. Some as simple as soft music. And simple things such as non violent TV shows which at times may produce some of these aggressive moods. If they have ADHD. You have to find a way to fine tune that hyperactivity she's 3 how about ballet. Im sure she would love a tutu skirt. Michael Phelps has ADHD if she is not sick just monitor her because psychotropics on a growing and developing child. Im just Old School. Get some tennis shoes go to the park, keep her busy you are the parent when she can't sleep at night from the medication and when she goes through withdrawal SYMPTOMS because mommy can't stand in line at CVS for a refill. Im just against pushing drugs to children unless its medically needed especially is she does not have any symptoms not tearing up the house, not doing anything abnormal, but even if she does have a normal tantrum. She may be bored. These kids are so much more advanced than we were. Good Luck