Funder: The Annie E. Casey Foundation

July 2014 | Compendium


Nationwide, psychotropic medication use among children and adolescents has become a high-priority issue for policymakers and child health stakeholders. Rates of psychotropic medication use are especially high among children involved in state child welfare systems, who typically rely on Medicaid to cover their physical and mental health service needs.

This series of resources — developed for CHCS’ quality improvement collaborative Improving the Use of Psychotropic Medications among Children and Youth in Foster Care — provides stakeholders with tools and guidance for ensuring that children prescribed psychotropic medications receive appropriate screening, assessment, treatment, and monitoring.

  • Models of Agency Consent for Psychotropic Medications (June 2014) An effective consent process for psychotropic medications is essential to ensuring that children and youth receive appropriate treatment and monitoring. This tool outlines the three models of agency consent by highlighting the methods used in New Jersey, Connecticut, and Illinois.
  • Data Definitions for Psychotropic Medication Oversight and Monitoring (April 2014) To improve oversight and monitoring of psychotropic medication use, states should collect accurate data about prescribing patterns among Medicaid providers, which begins with establishing state-level consensus on what to monitor. This resource shares a set of common definitions and measures developed by six states participating in the Psychotropic Medication Quality Improvement Collaborative to assist states in their psychotropic medication monitoring and oversight efforts.
  • Clinical and Functional Well-Being Assessments (December 2013) Child welfare case workers and clinicians need access to tools that support decision making, service planning, and outcomes monitoring. This resource provides information about existing clinical and functional assessments that evaluate a child’s health and well-being.
  • Comparison Matrix: Telephonic Psychiatric Consultation Programs (December 2013) Primary care providers are often charged with making treatment decisions for children with behavioral health needs; thus, many states have instituted psychiatric consultation programs that connect primary care providers with mental health clinicians who can help to determine the best treatment for a particular child. This matrix outlines telephonic psychiatric consultation programs from across the U.S., highlighting the background, funding, and structure of each.
  • Resources to Educate Youth, Families, Child Welfare Staff, and Providers about Psychotropic Medications (December 2013) It is important for children, families, child welfare caseworkers, and clinicians to have a full understanding of the purpose, impact, and potential side effects of psychotropic medications. This resource highlights educational materials and training available to parents, foster parents, providers, and youth who are prescribed psychotropic medications.