Several States have developed policies, guidelines, and services for working with children and youth who have been prescribed psychotropic medications. This section provides State examples that could serve as a model to other States and territories to help child welfare and related professionals work with children, youth, and families and to better understand and ensure the proper use of psychotropic medications.
The Use of Psychotropic Medications Over Time Among Foster Youth Transitioning to Adulthood
Park, Courtney, & Okpych (2017)
Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago & California Youth Transitions to Adulthood Study (CalYOUTH)
Presents the findings of a study on the use of and experiences with psychotropic medications among California youth in foster care transitioning to adulthood. The brief also examines how psychotropic drug use differs for youth based upon factors such as age and different types of behavioral health problems.
Psychotropic Medication Guidelines for Children and Adolescents in Colorado’s Child Welfare System (PDF - 3,420 KB)
Colorado Department of Human Services, Office of Children, Youth & Families (2017)
Examines psychotropic medication prescribing data for youth in the Colorado child welfare system and presents guidelines on decision-making and best prescribing practices. The guide discusses developing initiatives aimed at improving mental health access and prescribing practices for youth in foster care.
Guidelines for Psychotropic Medication Use in Children and Adolescents (PDF - 43 KB)
Connecticut Department of Children and Families (2014)
Presents protocols, procedures, and recommendations based on clinical evidence, clinical judgment, and research to support child welfare professionals in overseeing the prescription of psychotropic medications among children and youth in foster care.
Psychotropic Medication for Children in Out of Home Care
Florida's Center for the Advancement of Child Welfare Practice
Supplies Florida-specific, as well as other State and national, resources and information related to psychotropic medication. This website provides these resources under three areas: laws, rules, policy and reports; memos, tools, and training; and information on medication uses and side effects.
Search Medication Guidelines: Childhood
Florida Medicaid Drug Therapy Management Program for Behavioral Health
Provides searchable database of medication guidelines for prescribers in the Medicaid program for children and adolescents.
Guidelines for the Utilization of Psychotropic Medications for Children in Foster Care
Illinois Department of Children and Family Services
Provides a framework to assure the provision of quality psychiatric services to children in the custody of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.
Psychotropic Medication (PDF - 927 KB)
Indiana Department of Child Services (DCS) (2018)
Provides information and resources on the Psychotropic Medication Initiative for youth in DCS care, including utilization parameters (PDF - 2,093 KB), for youth in care and a two-year evaluation (PDF - 432 KB), of the program.
Psychotropic Medication Guidelines for Youth in Care With the Indiana Department of Child Services (PDF - 2,093 KB)
Indiana Psychotropic Medication Advisory Committee, Psychotropic Advisory Subcommittee (2020)
Provides guidance about the appropriate prescription of psychotropic medications, including specifications for when these medications are not advised and methods for monitoring the effects of new medications.
New Services for Children in Foster Care (PDF - 356 KB)
Passport Health Plan (2018)
Explains updated guidelines in Kentucky for implementing a short prior authorization form in order to decrease the overmedication of children and youth in foster care.
A Medical Guide for Youth in Foster Care (PDF - 1,269 KB)
New York State Office of Children and Family Services
Provides information for youth in foster care about their medical rights. This guide aims to answer questions that youth in foster care might have about their health care, including laws and regulations, who can give permission for health care, services and treatments, and more.
Psychotropic Medications: Guide for Caseworkers and Advocates of Foster Youth (PDF - 528 KB)
Oregon Department of Human Services (2014)
Guides child welfare caseworkers through a series of considerations, including nonmedical strategies, documentation, and pertinent diagnoses, in order to mitigate rates of unnecessary psychotropic medications prescriptions.
Psychotropic Mediation Utilization Parameters for Children and Youth in Foster Care (PDF - 534 KB)
Texas Department of Family and Protective Services & University of Texas at Austin College of Pharmacy (2017)
Discusses how reactions to trauma may present as various mental health disorders and offers guidelines to professionals completing psychological assessments for children and youth in care.