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May 2012Vol. 13 No. 4Webinar Series: Psychotropics and Children in Care

With growing attention being paid to the issue of psychotropic medications and children in foster care, The National Technical Assistance Center for Children's Mental Health (The Center), is sponsoring an array of webinars to facilitate discussion among stakeholders. The Center—in partnership with the Administration on Children, Youth and Families (ACYF), the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, and the Technical Assistance Partnership at American Institutes for Research—sponsored a three-part webinar series, "Use of Psychotropics among Children in Foster Care," in early 2012. The latest offering on the topic is a three-part question and answer (Q&A) series.

The first in the three-part webinar series featured presentations by Bryan Samuels, ACYF Commissioner; David Rubin from The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia; and Gene Griffin from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Commissioner Samuels presented an overview of the issue, including the risk of social and emotional problems caused by psychotropics, commonly diagnosed mental health disorders of children in care who receive psychotropic medications. Other presentations focused on the differences between symptoms of trauma and symptoms of mental health disorders and highlighted evidence-based interventions.

During the second webinar, Christopher Bellonci from Tufts University School of Medicine spoke about trends in the prescription of psychotropic medications and the implications for child welfare. Stephen Crystal from the Institute for Health, Health Care Policy, and Aging Research at Rutgers University addressed areas of concern for medication monitoring and quality improvement.

The third and final webinar featured Laurel Leslie from the Tufts Medical Center Floating Hospital for Children and Michael Naylor from the University of Illinois at Chicago. They highlighted findings from a multistate study on the oversight of psychotropic medication, guidance for professionals, Federal Inter-Agency guidelines, and State approaches to oversight. James Rogers, Medical Director for the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, discussed the State's reformed approach to monitoring psychotropic medication use by children and youth in foster care.

Audio recordings and presentations from the three webinars are available on The Center's website:

The three-part Q & A series, "Getting Practical: Developing Your State Plan for Psychotropic Medication Management," is aimed at facilitating discussion among State leaders to enhance their efforts to improve oversight and monitoring. The first part of the series took place on March 28, and a recording is available here:

Part 2 is scheduled for April 24, 2012, 3–4:30 p.m. (ET), and Part 3 will take place on June 5, 2012, 3–4:30 p.m. (ET). Additional information and registration for these sessions is available here: