Prescription meds for Foster Kids

Posted on | December 8, 2011 | No Comments | megbishop

On December 1, 2011 the GAO released a report of an investigation they did into 6 states – Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Oregon, and Texas – on the rates of psychotropic medication prescribed to foster kids in 2008 and state oversight of psychotropic prescriptions for foster kids through October 2011. Overall, the news is not good. The investigation concluded that children in foster care were more likely to be prescribed psychotropic medication over children not in foster care.  In addition, the report noted serious concerns about both foster and non-foster children being prescribed 5 or more psychotropic medications as part of a regimen opening them up to serious physical dangers. As to state oversight, the investigation concluded that, “[s]elected states’ monitoring programs for psychotropic drugs provided to foster children fall short of best principle guidelines published by the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP).”

Last Friday, 20/20 devoted nearly the entire hour to the report and spoke directly to foster children affected by inappropriate prescriptions of psychotropic medication.

Also, this week, the Oregonian addressed the concerns in the report focused on Oregon as well as the news that a statue passed in 2009 is decreasing the number of foster kids on psychotropic medication, but notes that there is a serious lag in children receiving their mandated mental health assessments in a timely manner.

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