• 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 absolutely loved loved loved the booklets and checklists in this training Foster Mom Vicki

    By 2 weeks 3 days ago
  • From my experiences in Foster placements, most of the kids do have high levels of medication, especially in the psychotropic category or ADHD. I am familiar with "group home" and youth ranch setups as well. most of the care takers who do care will try to make sure that kids are getting actual therapy or at least getting some kind of way to vent anger, frustration, disappointment etc. Some of the facilities that take public money will be required to have the kids under the care of a nurse and or doctor. What i have seen is that contract physicians are providing or continuing to provide medications without understanding if the child actually needs the drugs. They go with the assessments of the facility as to whether the child has behavioral issues. Far too often it is the behavioral issues that tend to land a child with a certain mood stabilizer. When it comes to these psychotropics, LPC, PsY, or other licencesed prescribers would be better off administering and or dispensing these products than doctor or nurse.
    I ended up adopting a special needs teenager who had been on clonadine for most of his growing up. While drug companies may want us on medications like that long term, the reality is that these drugs should be treating shorter term issues. Therapy, counseling, and positive activities help as much or more than the medication in my opinion.
    the medications have their time and place. I agree with the literature that they are overprescribed.

    By 3 weeks 3 days ago
  • I feel the foster parents should be part of the treatment team and fully invested.

    By 1 month 2 days ago



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