Psychotropic Medication of Foster Children: NCYL Proposes Action

Witnesses at a recent Congressional committee hearing called for action to protect children in foster care from excessive psychotropic medication.  NCYL believes it’s time to ask for specific actions such as those outlined in our written testimony. Two prior hearings, in 2008 and 2010, preceded this year’s event, which was timed to coincide with the […]

Caring for our Kids: Are we Overmedicating Children in Foster Care?

Written Testimony for the Subcommittee on Human Resources Committee on Ways and Means United States House of Representatives May 29, 2014 William Grimm, Senior Counsel National Center for Youth Law 405 14th Street, 15th Floor Oakland, CA 94612-2701 Phone:  (510) 835-8098, Ext. 3016 Email: Chairman Reichert, Ranking Member Doggett, and members of the Subcommittee, […]

Rhode Island to Curb Overuse of Psychotropic Medications Administered To Foster Children

Rhode Island is the most recent state to institute significant policies to reduce excessive prescription of psychotropic medications for foster children.  The state’s Department of Children, Youth, and Families, headed by Dr. Janice DeFrances, has not yet posted the new policies, but they can be accessed here. The new regulations direct local child welfare administrators […]

Testimony at Congressional hearing: Foster Youth Forced to Take Dangerous Drugs

For everyone concerned about over-medication of foster children and youth, the May 29 Congressional hearing, “Are We Overmedicating Children in Foster Care?” chaired by Rep. Dave Reichert (R-WA) provides food for thought and for action. Access the hearing notes: or watch Dawna’s testimony video on YouTube: Dawna Zender Hovenier, a 21-year-old former foster youth affiliated […]

New Study Identifies Common Antipsychotic Medication Practices Hazardous To Foster Children’s Health

A scientific report, soon to be published in the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology, includes strong words of caution for everyone involved in decisions that lead to medication of foster children with antipsychotic drugs.[1] The study of one state’s Medicaid data looked at records for low-income publicly insured youth who were 2 through 17 […]

Reducing Dangerous Prescribing Practices – Ohio

States have taken a variety of approaches toward education and regulation to reduce dangerous prescribing of psychotropic medication to children in foster care. This post summarizes how the Ohio Minds Matter initiative teams with prescribers to reduce dangerous medication practices for foster children. Ohio – Partnering with and Supporting Providers The Ohio Minds Matter Initiative […]