Missouri settles lawsuit on foster kids on psychotropic meds
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri will have to overhaul how it monitors children in foster care on psychotropic drugs as part of a settlement agreement finalized this past week.
The settlement calls for the state to ramp up staff training and mandates regular check-ups for kids on psychotropic medications.
The agreement comes after Children’s Rights and other advocacy groups filed a class-action lawsuit against the state last year, alleging that Missouri overmedicated children in foster care.
Advocates and the state reached a settlement agreement in July. U.S. District Judge Nanette Laughrey finalized the agreement Thursday.
As part of the settlement, children on psychotropic medications must be checked on by a doctor at least every three months. The department must have kids’ medical records and medication history on file, and staff would need to undergo training on psychotropic drugs.
The department also is required to create a policy to trigger automatic reviews of children ages 4 or younger on antipsychotic medicine, as well as children ages 5 and older taking multiple psychotropic or antipsychotic drugs for more than 90 days at a time.
A spokeswoman for the Department of Social Services did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday by The Associated Press.