Report 2015-131 Recommendation 23 Responses

Report 2015-131: California's Foster Care System: The State and Counties Have Failed to Adequately Oversee the Prescription of Psychotropic Medications to Children in Foster Care (Release Date: August 2016)

Recommendation #23 To: Sonoma County

To improve its oversight of foster children prescribed psychotropic medications, Sonoma County should immediately adopt the state guidelines for its physicians' use when prescribing psychotropic medications and the county's use when reviewing court authorization requests.

Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From October 2018

DHS MH has revised its policy "Psychoactive Medication Utilization Policy for Children and Adolescents", effective September 13, 2016 to include adoption of both the Department of Social Services Foster Care Quality Improvement Project, California Guidelines for the Use of Psychotropic Medication with Children and Youth in Foster Care and the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health, Parameters 3.8 For Use of Psychotropic Medication in Children and Adolescents, September 13, 2015.

FY&C developed the content for training all its foster care case-carrying social workers on the Department of Social Services Foster Care Quality Improvement Project, California Guidelines for the Use of Psychotropic Medication with Children and Youth in Foster Care. The training regarding psychotropic medication for all court case carrying social workers and supervisors (in the Court Services, Family Reunification/Court Family Maintenance and Permanency Planning programs) was completed in May 2018.

The Probation Placement Supervisor received the training entitled "Psychotropic Medication in Foster Care" through UC Davis. This day long training included legislative updates, court processes and forms, the State Auditor's report regarding psychotropic medication use in foster care, guidelines for prescribing (including the California Guidelines currently in use), and related topics such as informed consent and limits on the use of medication in foster care. Probation had scheduled for line staff to attend this training in October 2017 through UC Davis; however, the local wildfires forced the department to cancel attendance. Nevertheless, we continue to work closely with UC Davis for ongoing training opportunities relative to psychotropic medication use/oversight in the foster care population.

  • Completion Date: May 2018

California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Fully Implemented


Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From November 2017

Please refer to our one year response

  • Estimated Completion Date: May 2018

California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Partially Implemented


1-Year Agency Response

DHS MH has revised its policy "Psychoactive Medication Utilization Policy for Children and Adolescents", effective September 13, 2016 to include adoption of both the Department of Social Services Foster Care Quality Improvement Project, California Guidelines for the Use of Psychotropic Medication with Children and Youth in Foster Care and the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health, Parameters 3.8 For Use of Psychotropic Medication in Children and Adolescents, September 13, 2015.

FY&C has developed the content for training all its foster care case-carrying social workers on the Department of Social Services Foster Care Quality Improvement Project, California Guidelines for the Use of Psychotropic Medication with Children and Youth in Foster Care. The training for social workers and supervisors will be complete by October 31, 2017. Probation is currently working with UC Davis in training its foster care case-carrying probation officers on these guidelines.

  • Estimated Completion Date: December 2017
  • Response Date: August 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: Partially Implemented


6-Month Agency Response

DHS MH has revised its policy "Psychoactive Medication Utilization Policy for Children and Adolescents", effective September 13, 2016 to include adoption of both the Department of Social Services Foster Care Quality Improvement Project, California Guidelines for the Use of Psychotropic Medication with Children and Youth in Foster Care and the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health, Parameters 3.8 For Use of Psychotropic Medication in Children and Adolescents, September 13, 2015.

FY&C will, by June 2017 train all its foster care case-carrying social workers on the Department of Social Services Foster Care Quality Improvement Project, California Guidelines for the Use of Psychotropic Medication with Children and Youth in Foster Care.

  • Estimated Completion Date: June 1, 2017
  • Response Date: February 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: Partially Implemented


60-Day Agency Response

DHS MH has revised its policy "Psychoactive Medication Utilization Policy for Children and Adolescents", effective September 13, 2016 to include adoption of both the Department of Social Services Foster Care Quality Improvement Project, California Guidelines for the Use of Psychotropic Medication with Children and Youth in Foster Care and the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health, Parameters 3.8 For Use of Psychotropic Medication in Children and Adolescents, September 13, 2015.

FY&C will, by March 2017 train all its foster care case-carrying social workers on the Department of Social Services Foster Care Quality Improvement Project, California Guidelines for the Use of Psychotropic Medication with Children and Youth in Foster Care.

  • Estimated Completion Date: March 31, 2017
  • Response Date: October 2016

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Partially Implemented


All Recommendations in 2015-131

Agency responses received are posted verbatim.