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California Guidelines for the Use of Psychotropic Medication with Children and Youth in Foster Care

California Department of Social Services and Department of Health Services Care

 

(The California Department of Health Care Services and Department of Social Services released this guide to best practices for the treatment of mental health conditions affecting children and youth in out-of-home care.)

 

Introduction

Children have the right to safety, respect, justice, education, health and well- being. As a society we have the obligation to protect these values for all of our children. When children and youth have been removed from their primary homes due to abuse and/or neglect, the State of California and its counties assume the primary responsibility to safeguard these rights for the children in their care. The state also assumes the responsibility of addressing the trauma (defined below) as experienced by the child who is removed from the home and placed into care.

 

The California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) and Department of Social Services (CDSS) have the shared responsibility for the oversight of mental health services provided to children and youth involved with county child welfare and probation agencies. The California Guidelines for the Use of Psychotropic Medication with Children and Youth in Foster Care is specific to those children and youth who are: (a) involved with child welfare services and/or probation services, and (b) are placed in foster care. Foster care is defined as 24-hour substitute care for children placed away from their parents or guardians and for whom the State and/or county agency has placement and care responsibility. This includes, but is not limited to, placements in foster family homes, foster homes of relatives, group homes, emergency shelters, residential facilities, child care institutions, and pre-adoptive homes. Consistent with research over the past twenty years that has described the effects of abuse and neglect (Brown et al 1990, Lansford 2002)1 the State is committed to utilizing formal and informal mental health services to ameliorate the negative effects of abuse and/or neglect and the potential negative effects and consequences following removal from the primary home. Together, these negative effects and potential consequences are defined as trauma, defined by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA 2014) 2as “The Three E's”: The Event, The Experience, and The Effect:

  

“Individual trauma results from an event, series of events, or set of circumstances that is experienced by an individual as physically or emotionally harmful or threatening and that has lasting adverse effects on the individual's functioning and physical, social, emotional, or spiritual well- being.” 

 

 To see the brief see this link:

http://www.dhcs.ca.gov/provgov...liver/Guidelines.pdf

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