To improve the appropriate use of psychotropic medications among children and youth in foster care, child welfare caseworkers and providers need tools that support informed decision making, service planning, and outcomes monitoring. Resources in this section catalog child well-being assessments and highlight the unique role of trauma-informed care in behavioral health care for children in child welfare.

Clinical and Functional Well-Being Assessments (March 2018) – This directory provides information about existing clinical and functional assessments that can be used to evaluate a child’s health and well-being.

Pediatric Metabolic Syndrome Monitoring Form (April 2014) – This screening tool, developed by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, can be used by prescribers treating children who are on psychotropic medications to improve metabolic syndrome screening rates.

Trauma-Informed Screening, Assessment, and Treatment for Children and Youth in Child Welfare (November 2013) – This webinar highlights Connecticut and Texas’ efforts to implement trauma-informed approaches to behavioral health care within their child welfare agencies, with a focus on design, implementation, and outcomes.

State Highlight: Rhode Island

Rhode Island implemented evidence-based, trauma-informed assessment practices to ensure the appropriate intervention — including the use of psychotropic medications — among children and youth in foster care. The state implemented the use of the Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths (CANS) Assessment for all youth entering congregate care or specialized foster care as of May 1, 2013. To ensure continuity, assessment data from the CANS is collected and imported into the state’s data warehouse to support integration between the Rhode Island Department of Children, Youth and Families and Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island, the state’s Health Maintenance Organization. As of December 2015, data shows that 86 percent of youth entering these settings received an initial CANS assessment within 30 days of entry. Rhode Island has also implemented the CANS-Trauma which includes domains that measure potentially traumatic experiences and levels of traumatic symptoms in addition to assessing strengths, among children and youth.

Learn more about Rhode Island’s efforts »