Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth Co-Chairs Statement on Health and Human Services Report on Psychotropic Medication

Sep 28, 2018

WASHINGTON – This week, the bipartisan co-chairs of the Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth issued the following joint statement responding to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General’s (OIG) report that found one in three children in foster care who were treated with psychotropic medications did not receive treatment planning or medication monitoring as required. The report examined youth in Iowa, Maine, New Hampshire, North Dakota, and Virginia - the five states with the highest overall percentages of foster children treated with psychiatric drugs.

“We are deeply troubled by the Inspector General’s report. When a child comes into the custody and care of the child welfare system, it’s the government that becomes the parent. This report reflects a systematic failure to take care of our children in the best way that we can.

“The Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth is committed to improving the health conditions of the youth in our child welfare system starting with implementing the report recommendation that the United States Children’s Bureau develop a comprehensive strategy to improve states’ compliance with requirements for treatment planning and medication monitoring of psychotropic medications. The Inspector General also recommends the Children’s Bureau assist states in strengthening their requirements for oversight of psychotropic medications by incorporating professional practice guidelines for monitoring children at the individual level.

“It’s time to push back against the systematic neglect of these children. Failing foster youth must not be inevitable.”

The Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth is co-chaired by Reps. Karen Bass (D-Calif.), Tom Marino (R-Penn.), Jim Langevin (D-Rhode Island), Don Bacon (R-Neb.), Brenda Lawrence (D-Mich.), Paul Mitchell (R-Mich.) and Diane Black (R-Tenn.).