Psychiatric Medications in Foster Kids Draw Scrutiny
California legislators will consider legislation that would require the state to track the use of psychiatric medications in foster children, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
Under a bill (AB 1330) that Assembly member Noreen Evans (D-Santa Rosa) introduced on Friday, the Department of Social Services would be required to maintain records detailing:
- Types of medications prescribed to foster children;
- Sex, age and race of foster children receiving psychiatric medications;
- Number of years the child has been in the foster care system; and
- Whether foster children live with a family, in a group home or within the juvenile justice system.
Randall Hagar, the director of governmental affairs for the organization, said that the stipulation would limit foster children's access to psychiatric drugs because limited research is available on the use of most of the medications in children. FDA specifically recommends few of the medications for use in pediatric cases.
Evans said the measure is intended to avoid cases of overmedication and ensure that the state continues voluntary steps that the Department of Social Services says it began last year.
A similar effort was undertaken in 2004, but the Legislature did not approve the bill (Yi, San Francisco Chronicle, 2/24). This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.