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Psychotropic Medication and Children in Foster Care: Tips for Advocates and Judges

Children who enter foster care face many changes and challenges that an lead to mental health disorders treated with psychotropic medications. 

Many have experienced abuse and neglect. Some have witnessed violence and trauma. Others have parents who suffer profound mental health issues. Regardless of what led to their involvement in the child
welfare system, all face separation, broken relationships, and confusion. Increasing their vulnerabilities are risk factors such as poverty, neighborhood violence, exposure to parental mental illness, racial discrimination, lack of food, and homelessness.

The paths to a mental health diagnosis are numerous and complex. Genetically some of these children are already prone to disruptions in their mental health. Mental health disorders such as attention deficit disorder or bipolar disorder, even borderline personality disorder, are thought to have genetic components that place children at risk for developing the same disorders as their parents. Environmental experiences are also linked to mental health issues such as conduct disorder, depression, and anxiety disorder. Exposure to violence is directly linked to post traumatic stress disorder and depression.

Familiarize yourself with the law regarding medication by following the link below. 

Your donations help make a difference

Fostering Success Michigan is a program of Educate Tomorrow that aims to increase access and success in higher education and post-college careers for youth with experience in foster care. Learn how you can contribute to building a holistic network that insulates (i.e., strengthens protective factors and reduces risks) the education to career "pipeline." 

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