• 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?

  • We have a 4 year old that we adopted from foster care last year. He has a history of trauma and we are exploring methods of treatment other than medications.

    By 3 weeks 5 days ago
  • No kid that young should be on meds

    By 3 weeks 5 days ago
  • I am a strong believer of medication as a last resort. Reading about the high number of children given medication for their behaviors, I feel sad that this is the option most used. I know that there are times when it needs to be done, but I truly hope that people use other methods first in order to help children before medicating them into a hazy state.

    By 3 weeks 5 days ago



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