Drugging Our Kids

Training Module
Drugging Our Kids

In December 2011 a report on psychotropic medication use among foster youth, was released by the Government Accountability Office.  The results of that report were shocking. There is no other word for it. Shocking to imagine that a young person in foster care is 4.5 times more likely to be medicated as youth not in foster care. Shocking to think that in some states, nearly 40% of all foster children are receiving psychotropic medications. Shocking to imagine that these vulnerable youth are being given multiple medications, and often in doses higher than recommended for either children or adults!  As a CASA Volunteer it is important for you to be aware of the severity of the problem and know what to look for and what questions to ask in regards to your CASA child's prescribed medications.

1.  Begin by viewing the video below.  It is a documentary filmed in California on the epidemic of medication use in foster children.  The information is just as relevant here in the state of Maryland.

2.  Now that you have viewed the video, read the attached document contained in the link.  What you will read here is a policy directive from the Maryland Department of Human Resources that oversees the local DSS departments.  That directive is for each local DSS to implement to begin to have better oversight in the medication that Maryland's foster children are prescribed.  The policy is not 100% in effect, but it's initial creation is a hopeful sign that our state is beginning to take notice.  Click on the button below to download the document.  Please read it in its entirety.  
Maryland Policy Directive on Medication Usage
3.  Now, read the document attached below entitled "Best Practices for CASA Volunteers."  This contains information for you as an advocate, information on who you should be questioning, what questions to ask and how to document your concerns about medication usage as you report to the court.
Best Practices for CASA Volunteers
After viewing the video and reading the attached documents, please complete the questionnaire that follows.  Once the form is sent through, you will receive 1 1/2 hours of training credit. 

Drugging our Kids Review Questions

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