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Psychotropic Medication

  • DCS
  • Current: Psychotropic Medication

Welcome to the Psychotropic Medication Initiative webpage!

The use of psychotropic medications among children in state custody has come under increasing scrutiny in recent years.  A number of published studies have demonstrated that children in the child welfare system are prescribed psychotropic medications at rates that are three to four times higher than rates for other Medicaid-insured youth.  In addition, youth in the child welfare system typically experience abuse, neglect or other traumatic stressors at rates that are significantly higher than the general population.

To address these trends as they relate to Indiana youth, the Indiana Department of Child Services (DCS) launched a comprehensive initiative in 2013, in collaboration with the Indiana Family Social Services Administration (FSSA), the Office of Medicaid Policy and Planning (OMPP), the Division of Mental Health and Addictions (DMHA), and the Indiana University School of Medicine (IUSM) Department of Psychiatry, to provide oversight, monitoring, education and consultation regarding psychotropic mediation utilization for youth in DCS care.

The Indiana Psychotropic Medication Advisory Committee (PMAC) serves as an oversight committee for this initiative.  The PMAC meets quarterly to review the psychiatric treatment of DCS-involved youth, with a specific focus on psychotropic medication utilization patterns.  This committee includes representatives from IUSM Department of Psychiatry, DCS, OMPP, FSSA, DMHA, pediatricians, social workers, psychologists, pharmacists, child advocates and other identified stakeholders.  The PMAC monitors Federal legislation, reviews best-practice guidelines for psychotropic medication use, monitors Indiana prescription patterns, reviews formularies and makes policy recommendations to DCS and OMPP.

For additional information about the Psychotropic Medication Initiative for youth in DCS care, please click on the links below.


Indiana University (video) - Education on Developmental Trauma in Youth for Foster Parents


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