The purpose of this policy analysis is to critically review the Welfare and Institutions Code§ 369.5, which regulates the authorization of psychotropic medication to treat mental disorders among California's dependent children. While these medications have been proven effective forms of treatment, there is a growing concern about their life threatening side effects.
Research has concluded that children exposed to chronic child abuse and neglect often present with behaviors indicative of trauma. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5th Edition has included criteria for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (P.T.S.D.) in children. However, the Welfare and Institutions Code§ 369.5 does not mandate psychiatrists and pediatricians to first rule out trauma prior to diagnosing foster children with one or more behavior, mood, or psychotic disorders.
Results support amending child welfare legislation and policies to reflect a shift toward trauma-focused services, thereby reducing the reliance on potentially dangerous pharmaceutical drugs.
|School:||California State University, Long Beach|
|Department:||Children, Youth and Families|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||MAI 52/06M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Mental health, Psychobiology, Social work, Public health, Clinical psychology, Individual & family studies|
|Keywords:||Dependent children, Foster children, Mental health disorders, PTSD, Psychotropic medication, Trauma in children|
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