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Identifying and Avoiding Overuse of Psychiatric Medication with Children in Foster Care

Upcoming Events / Webinar / Identifying and Avoiding Overuse of Psychiatric Medication with Children in Foster Care

Identifying and Avoiding Overuse of Psychiatric Medication with Children in Foster Care

Presented by Dr. Irwin Martin from American Bar Association’s Center for Children and the Law

Friday, October 7, 2022

9 a.m. PDT / 10 a.m. MDT / 11 a.m. CDT / 12 p.m. EDT

Register Here

The NCJFCJ, in partnership with the American Bar Association’s Center for Children and the Law, invite you to join Dr. Irwin Martin, clinical professor of child and adolescent psychiatry at the New York University Grossman School of Medicine for a discussion on the use of psychotropic medications in foster care.

Multiple studies have concluded that children involved in the child welfare or juvenile justice system, many of whom are victims of abuse and trauma, are prescribed psychiatric medication at a rate significantly higher than other populations of children. Much of the time, the medications are used to control behavior and anger. Many of the medications used in this population of already vulnerable children are prescribed off-label, with little proven benefit but significant risk. Compounding the problem, biological parents or legal guardians are frequently pressured to sign consents forms without having ever spoken to the psychiatric provider. The consent forms parents or guardians are asked to sign do not contain sufficient information
about benefits, risks or alternatives to allow them to make a true informed decision about the psychiatric care of their children. When parents refuse to consent, even if their objection is reasonable, the medications are often administered over their objections.

Child advocates, attorneys representing parents and children, and family court judges can play a vital role in reducing the overuse of medication. The discussion will explore the causes of overmedication, the “red flags” that can help them recognize situations where the child’s treatment with psychiatric medications may be problematic and possible solutions.

If you have any questions about registration, please contact Taraneh Warner at twarner@ncjfcj.org. If you have questions about the curriculum, please contact Andrew Wachter awachter@ncjfcj.org.