Recent research has shown the disproportionality of psychotropic medication prescriptions for children and youth in foster care compared with their peers not in care. It is important for parents, caregivers, and child welfare and related professionals to understand the role these medications play in treating traumatic stress; have access to the most recent research on these medications; and understand rates of psychotropic medication use by children and youth, side effects, and other factors pertaining to these drugs. This section provides research and reports regarding psychotropic medications, with a focus on children and youth involved with the child welfare system.
Child Welfare: Oversight of Psychotropic Medication for Children in Foster Care (PDF - 1,532 KB)
Congressional Research Service (2017)
Discusses the screening and assessment services that may contribute to the overmedication of children and youth involved in the child welfare system.
Curbing the High Rates of Psychotropic Medication Prescriptions Among Children and Youth in Foster Care (PDF - 715 KB)
National Center for Youth Law
Analyzes the conditions contributing to the overprescribing of psychotropic mediations to children and youth in the foster care system based on academic and medical literature reviews, data and policy analyses, and interviews with key stakeholders. The brief concludes with State intervention examples and practice recommendations.
Improving the Use of Psychotropic Medication Among Children and Youth in Foster Care: A View From the States [Webinar]
Center for Health Care Strategies, Inc. (2018)
Details new cross-agency approaches in monitoring and overseeing psychotropic medication use among children and youth in child welfare.
Psychotropic Medication Use Among Children Who Are Subjects of Child Protective Services Investigations: Does Court Oversight Matter? (PDF - 234 KB)
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Human Services Policy, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (2016)
Summarizes the role of courts in overseeing psychotropic medication prescriptions to mitigate the under- and overprescription among children and youth in care.
Psychotropic Medication Oversight Among Youth in Custody of State Child Welfare Systems [Video]
Madison, Mackie, & Peterson (2016)
Administration for Children and Families
Highlights the experiences of a youth involved in foster care, specifically in relation to how psychotropic medication was prescribed and used. The workshop also highlights recent rates of psychotropic medication use among youth in foster care, provides a summary of recent Federal responses to these concerns, and offers an overview of available resources to help professionals and youth manage appropriate use of psychotropic medication.