Georgia Foster Kids’ Psych Drug Use Under Review

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More than a third of foster children in Georgia are prescribed psychotropic drugs — medications like antidepressants and mood stabilizers. Because so many foster children are using the drugs, a new review aims to provide better oversight over their usage.

The review is expected to reduce prescriptions of expensive psychotropic drugs within the foster care system.

“You are going to save money, and you’re going to provide good medical care,” Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver, D-Decatur, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Georgia currently spends $7.87 million year on psychotropic drugs.

“All too often medications can be the first and only solution, and that in and of itself isn’t a solution,” said Page Walley, a clinical psychologist who heads the strategic consulting arm of Casey Family Programs, a national foundation providing $75,000 to fund the review. The foundation is also providing staff for the review.

Lawmakers agreed to hold House Bill 23, which authorizes the review, until next year’s General Assembly after Casey Family Programs agreed to provide funding.

A draft plan of the review is expected by late summer.


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