Democratic Senator Jim Beall says nearly a quarter of adolescents in the California foster care system are being prescribed mood or behavior altering drugs. And he says it’s not clear who is in charge of tracking the medications foster children take.
"Of you can imagine a lot of these kids require some therapy," he says. "And often times the therapy involves medication. So the issue we’re looking at is how is that controlled?"
Beall says foster kids are being prescribed drugs like anti-depressants and anti-psychotics at a rate three times higher than non-foster kids.
He will introduce legislation this week that calls for nurses to oversee the monitoring of medication for foster children. He’ll also introduce a bill that would establish treatment protocols in group homes. Another bill would require the collection and review of data regarding the use of psychotropic medications among foster children.