National Center for Youth Law

STRATEGIES

Oversight and Monitoring for Foster Children Prescribed Psychotropic Medications
SB 319

Without basic medical attention, psychotropic drugs can cause crippling sedation, morbid obesity, memory loss, diabetes, heart disease, irreversible tremors, other long- term disabilities, and in extreme cases, death.

Thousands of California foster children are medicated using psychotropic drugs, but few receive basic medical safety tests or monitoring. In spite of clear guidelines by the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatrists and the American Diabetes Association, very few foster children receive even basic metabolic testing before or during use of psychotropic medication.

The legislation strengthens the role of public health nurses giving explicit responsibility for the oversight and monitoring of the administration of psychotropic drugs to foster children.