Child Welfare: Oversight of Psychotropic Medication for Children in Foster Care.

This report begins by explaining the mental health challenges of children in foster care and the use of psychotropic medication to treat a variety of mental health conditions including attention disorders, depression, anxiety, conduct disorders, and other conditions. It notes that between 16% and 33% of children in out-of-home care may be using psychotropic medication on any given day, compared to about 6% of typical children who take psychotropic medication at some point during a given year. Following this introduction, the report discusses variations of psychotropic medication use by State and over time, findings from the Second National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being, congressional oversight of psychotropic medication, and efforts by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to provide assistance to States in ensuring appropriate use of psychotropic medications for children in care. The report concludes with a review of State oversight efforts. 4 figures, 1 table, and 111 references.