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Protecting Kids from Dangerous Use of Powerful Drugs

Last week, our campaign to keep kids safer in Missouri foster care took a big step forward.

A federal judge gave preliminary approval to a groundbreaking settlement designed to ensure that children in foster care in Missouri are administered psychotropic medications only when safe and necessary. This settlement promises to reform the unsafe medical practice of prescribing powerful psychotropic drugs to children in foster care without state oversight or accountability.

Our lawsuit, the first of its kind to singularly target this dangerous use of psychotropic drugs, represents an opportunity for change nationwide: “The fact that Missouri will be implementing a systemic solution … will send a clear message to other states with the same problem to take action and provide a road map for how credibly to fix broken systems,” Samantha Bartosz, our deputy director of litigation, told The Chronicle for Social Change.

Specifically, the agreement calls for overhauling the state’s practices around the use of psychotropic medications in foster care through several key reforms, including improved medical records and medication monitoring; informed consent policies; secondary reviews of medical files by qualified psychiatrists; and rigorous training for all foster care case management and resource provider staff. Read more about the settlement’s reforms here.

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