Foster Care Youth and Psychotropic Medications Analytical Essay by scribbler

Foster Care Youth and Psychotropic Medications
Looks at why the dispensing of psychiatric and psychotropic drugs is so common among foster care young people.
# 152915 | 1,405 words | 9 sources | APA | 2013 | US
Published on Apr 30, 2013 in Psychology (Child and Adolescent) , Psychology (Therapies) , Sociology (Social Work)

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This paper examines research projects and articles to ascertain three reasons that provide a partial explanation of the overuse of psychotropic drugs among foster care youth. The paper also cites articles that discuss the ethical issues of prescribing these drugs in this situation and emphasizes the importance of an administrator for a child welfare program, who oversees placement and services for foster care youth, to be fully informed of the standards set by nationally recognized organizations. Several quotations are included in the text.

Table of Contents:
Reasons for the Overuse
Ethical Issues to be Considered
Legal Ramifications for an Administrator

From the Paper:

"Meanwhile, Zito and seven colleagues conducted a study of foster care youth, a total of 472 Medicaid-enrolled individuals (ages 0 through 19), to determine and quantify the patters of "psychotropic monotherapy and concomitant therapy" in one-month window time, July, 2004. Of the 472 Medicaid-enrolled foster care young people 54.7 percent were boys, 38.6 percent were Caucasian and 39 percent were between 10 and 14 years of age. The survey did not include "mentally retarded and medically fragile youth" - a group that was apart from the general foster care community of youth, Zito explained.
"There were several psychotropic medication groupings found within the survey; there were medications for: attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD); antidepressants; antipsychotic agents; lithium; anticonvulsant mood stabilizers; anti-anxiety drugs; and "miscellaneous" drugs.
"Of the above-named medications, the most frequently dispensed that the survey revealed were antidepressants. Indeed, antidepressants were used just over fifty-six percent of the time. As to the diagnoses within the 472 youths being studied, 38.8 percent were diagnosed with ADHD; 35.5 percent were diagnosed with depression; 33.7 percent were diagnosed with "adjustment/anxiety"; 20.6 percent were given psychotropic drugs due to a diagnosis of "oppositional defiant disorder/conduct disorder..."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Crismon, Lynn M., and Argo, Tami. (2009). The Use of Psychotropic Medication for Childrenin Foster Care. Child Welfare, 88(1), 71-95.
  • Naylor, Michael W., Davidson, Christine V., Ortega-Piron, Jean D., Bass, Arin, Guiterrez,Alice, and Hall, Angela. (2007). Psychotropic Medication Management for Youth in StateCare: Consent, Oversight, and Policy Considerations. Child Welfare, 86(5), 175-192.
  • Raghavan, Ramesh, Inkelas, Moira, Fanke, Todd, and Halfon, Neal. (2007). AdministrativeBarriers to the Adoption of High-Quality Mental Health Services for Children in FosterCare: A National Study. Administration and Policy in Mental Health & Mental Health Services Research, Vol. 34, 191-201.
  • Raghavan, Ramesh, and McMillen, Curtis J. (2008). Use of Multiple Psychotropic MedicationsAmong Adolescents Aging Out of Foster Care. Psychiatric Services, 59(9), 1052-1055.
  • Safer, Daniel J., Zito, Julie Magno, and dosReis, Susan. (2003). Concomitant PsychotropicMedication for Youths. American Journal of Psychiatry, 160(3), 438.

Cite this Analytical Essay:

APA Format

Foster Care Youth and Psychotropic Medications (2013, April 30) Retrieved March 01, 2024, from

MLA Format

"Foster Care Youth and Psychotropic Medications" 30 April 2013. Web. 01 March. 2024. <>