A Historic Victory for Kids in Foster Care

Last week, Children’s Rights and our partners celebrated a major victory in our campaign to reform the dangerous use of psychotropic drugs among youth in Missouri foster care.

A U.S. District Court Judge gave final approval to a groundbreaking settlement, which promises to reform the unsafe medical practice of prescribing powerful psychotropic drugs to children in foster care without state oversight or accountability. Our lawsuit is the first of its kind to singularly target this dangerous use of psychotropic drugs and will benefit the more than 13,000 children in Missouri’s foster care system. It also sets a strong legal precedent that may lead to greater safety in the use of psychotropics among youth in foster care nationwide.

Celebrating this victory, Samantha Bartosz, Deputy Director of Litigation for Children’s Rights, said: “This settlement is a major victory not just for foster children in Missouri, but young people indiscriminately subjected to psychotropic medications throughout the country… We will continue to advocate for stronger restraints on the use of psychotropic medications on children in government custody.”

Children’s Rights never does this work alone. We share this victory with the organizations we partner with to make the world a better place for kids: the National Center for Youth Law, Saint Louis University School of Law Legal Clinics, and the international firm of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius.

Among other reforms, the settlement requires that children who are prescribed psychotropic medications must be checked on by a doctor at least every three months. The settlement also requires that all children who receive psychotropic medications will have a comprehensive medical record on file. For more information about the specific reforms in the agreement, read here.