Education and engagement are important among families, child welfare caseworkers, and providers so that they understand what psychotropic medications are for, how they are used, and what side effects they may have. Resources in this section identify websites and tools to educate the public and professionals about psychotropic medications and take a closer look at states that have engaged stakeholders in their work to reduce the inappropriate use of psychotropic medications.

Resources to Educate Youth, Families, Child Welfare Staff, and Providers about Psychotropic Medications (March 2018) – This directory highlights educational materials and training available to parents, foster parents, providers, and youth who are prescribed psychotropic medications.

Educating and Engaging Key Stakeholders (April 2014) – This webinar highlights efforts in Ohio and Texas to engage providers, caseworkers, families, and youth in improving the use of psychotropic medications among children in foster care.

State Highlight: Ohio

Beginning in 2012, Ohio’s Office of Health Transformation, the state’s Medicaid program, and Best Evidence Advancing Child Health in Ohio Now! (a public-private partnership to improve children’s health outcomes) brought together an advisory panel to evaluate and improve prescribing of atypical antipsychotics and other psychotropic medications among young children in Medicaid. Stakeholders engaged in this effort included leadership from all state health and human service agencies (health, mental health, Medicaid, youth services/juvenile justice, job and family services, child welfare), academic leaders, health care providers (hospitals, ambulatory care providers, and behavioral health systems), other child-serving systems (schools, courts), and advocates.

The advisory panel developed a website, Minds Matter, that includes a toolkit and online modules to educate various stakeholders — including prescribers, parents and consumers, and schools and other agencies — about the appropriate use of psychotropic medications. It also shares results from the initiative, including outcomes and lessons learned.