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Psychotropic Medication Use among Children who Are Subjects of Child Protective Services Investigations: Does Court Oversight Matter?

Publication Date

This ASPE Research Brief examines the courts’ role in overseeing psychotropic medication prescriptions for children who were subjects of child maltreatment investigations. The analyses examine associations between the courts’ roles in overseeing these medications for children in the child welfare system and the frequency and patterns with which such medications are used, as well as their associations with subsequent maltreatment reports. Analyses focus on children ages 2 to 17 years, as well as the critical subpopulation of these children identified as having emotional or behavioral problems. The analyses include children placed in out-of-home settings and children remaining in home with either an open or closed child welfare case after investigation. The brief concludes with a discussion of the role and relevance of court and caseworker oversight of psychotropic medication use.

Child Welfare