• Well-Being

Credit Hours: 


Psychotropic Medication

Course Summary:

The overuse of psychotropic medication for children and youth in foster care has been a hot topic, as profiled in the national news and in discussions among policy makers and child welfare professionals. 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 provides 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 revolving around the use of psychotropic medications for children and youth
  • How to engage your young person 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


Take the Course:

Estimated time to complete: 2.5 hours

A:  Read Foster Kids Given Psychiatric Drugs At Higher Rates, a national media story from NPR that provides an overview of the psychotropic medication issue in foster care. CLICK HERE 
B:  Learn what the impact psychotropic medications has on a young person and get a better understanding of your child’s behavior in reaction to psychotropic medications. Read Colorado Responds Slowly to Psychotropic Drug Use Among Foster Kids, an in-depth report published by the Denver Post (2014), featuring FosterClub young leader Diego Conde: CLICK HERE
C:  Review Making Healthy Choices, a guide developed for youth in foster care regarding making decisions about their mental health, treatment options, and the use of psychotropic medications: CLICK HERE
D:  Learn more about treatment for youth in foster care who have experienced trauma and are working to improve their mental health by reviewing Supporting Youth in Foster Care in Making Healthy Choices, a guide for caregivers and other supportive adults: CLICK HERE
E: Continue the conversation on the supportive adult forum by adding a comment to the discussion topic question. CLICK HERE

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Course Discussion Question

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

  • I currently have a teen girl who is on seven medications and is getting no therapy services. Crazy and sad. :(

    By 1 month 1 week ago
  • I am a full time school teacher and foster parent. Knowing the sometimes harmful effects of medications, we waited 6 years and explored many other options before deciding to (finally!) try medication. My (foster) son is not over-medicated, and the addition of medication has been a blessing. He is now able to focus at school and went from failing out of school to ending the previous school year with straight A's. We do not use the medication as a means to control him, numb him, or sedate him. It is a tool that has helped him to focus and be successful. I agree that it is a serious decision to decide to medicate and that other tools should be pursued before deciding to use medication. However, it can be beneficial when it is used correctly.

    By 1 month 3 weeks ago
  • I feel that medication should always be last result, there are so many other healthy alternatives to try first before assuming that the only cure is a medicine.

    By 1 month 3 weeks ago



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