• 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 think that foster parents should definitely have input in the treatment plans. Foster parents are the ones that are with them day in and day out and know what the struggles they are facing are. They are the ones who have to deal with the effects. I think they are acting as parents and should be allowed to make decisions as if they were the parents.

    By 1 week 3 days ago
  • I appreciate having a doctor who has a very conservative approach to prescribing meds and who takes the time to explain what the desired effect is and then monitors the children very closely.

    By 3 weeks 3 days ago
  • I have two kids in my home and they are both on medication. In my opinion it varies from situation to situation, but I do believe med should be the last resort. If mess in the result making sure that your educated is very important because just like the different passages stated sometimes kids are put on things that ended up doing more harm than anything. So just be aware than go from there.

    By 4 weeks 1 day ago



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