Credit hours:
2.25

Course Summary

*This is part 2 of a 2 part series. Please complete Psychotropic Medications Part 1 prior to this course* In this module, we’ll look further into the use of psychotropic medications in children and youth in foster care, beginning with a landmark investigation by the Bay Area News Group in California. Review of a report from the American Bar Association will provide information to help you become a young person’s best advocate. Throughout this module, you will hear directly from young people about the short- and long-term effects of the psychotropic medications they received while in foster care.

In this course, you can expect to learn:

  • Why psychotropic medications are overused for children and youth in foster care

  • The impact of off-label psychotropic medications on young people in care

  • How to identify various types of psychotropic medications and their intended uses

  • Ways foster parents and caregivers can become children and youth's best advocates for safe, responsible, supported, and supervised use of medication where appropriate

Step 1

Watch the Bay Area News Group’s Drugging Our Kids, a powerful investigative documentary that led to reform of psychiatric medication use in California.

Step 2

Review "Psychotropic Medication and Children in Foster Care" from the American Bar Association, which provides details about types of psychotropic medications and the role of caregivers and foster parents.

Step 3

Read the ThinkProgress article "Sweeping New Legislation In California Limits Psychotropics Among Foster Children" for an overview of leading changes in policy and practice concerning psychotropic medications.

Step 4

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

As an advocate for children, what is the foster parent’s role in ensuring that medication is properly used for children in foster care?

Subscribe now!

Just $24.95 for 1 year subscription per parent (unlimited access to courses for one year).

Subscribe Now

Log in to your account

Already subscribed? Log in to your FosterClub account now to take a course!

Log in

Course Discussion

lanne's picture

lanne said:

foster parents need to be vigilant and involved. Open lines of communication between case workers, doctors, and when possible, birth parents. They need to monitor children carefully and note any side effects. They need to pay attention to how the drugs affect behavior, mood, and performance at school, and seek adjustments in dosages when necessary.
swashington12's picture

swashington12 said:

ADVOCATING FOR FOSTER CHILDREN CAREGIVERS MUST BE ADEQUATE IN GIVING MEDICATIONS AT PROPER TIMES AND DOES , WATCHING AND MONITOR FOR SIDE AFFECTS CHILDREN ARE HAVING AND DOCUMENT MAKE SURE ANY CHANGES ARE GIVEN TO CASE MANAGER AND DOCTOR RIGHT AWAY.
Ratworld3's picture

Ratworld3 said:

foster parents should ensure that medication their children are receiving have had multiple people agreeing to the treatment
requiempress@gmail.com's picture

requiempress@gm... said:

Foster parents should be in close contact with doctors.
curleytailfarms@gmail.com's picture

curleytailfarms... said:

Foster Parents need to ask questions and get second opinions to make sure it is in the best interest of the child.
curleytailfarms@gmail.com's picture

curleytailfarms... said:

Foster Parents need to ask questions and get second opinions to make sure it is in the best interest of the child.
rdsimpson7112's picture

rdsimpson7112 said:

Advocating for foster children begins with ensuring the medication provider for the child is appropriate. As a case manager for foster children years ago, I witnessed children being herded through the office like cattle and immediately prescribed medication, before other options were considered in many cases. Often the providers would barely, if at all, listen to the client or foster parent. I have also seen pediatricians prescribe ADHD and other medications to children without consulting a mental health professional simply because it was requested by a foster parent. Once a provider is obtained, I believe foster parents should not be afraid to question why medications are prescribed and ask about what to look when it comes to side effects. When appointments are rushed it is easy to feel the pressure to hurry up and not cause the appointment to take longer. Most importantly, foster parents need to be willing to put in a lot of time and effort into meeting the child where they are to ensure they are not just trying to find a quick fix for negative behavior.
Truth and Love's picture

Truth and Love said:

Adjusting to medication takes a team effort. Child, parents, school and doctors.
screbis's picture

screbis said:

It's a foster parents roll to be informed on diagnosis, medications, side effects, alternatives, and a child total well being. They also need to be able to communicate with doctors, case workers, and bio families to understand all they can and make sure the child is getting the best care possible and side effects are being monitored.
gwayns's picture

gwayns said:

The foster parent is the child's advocate for a better life experience. First it must be thoroughly identified that the medication is needed and is prescribed for its intent. A foster parent should monitor for changes, good, bad and/or indifferent.