Sound Off on Psych MedsAdvocating for prudent medication use

Children in foster care use psychotropic drugs at an extremely high rate.

Researchers examined prescription claims data between September 1, 2004 -August 31, 2005 for children enrolled in Texas foster care. Of  the 37,052 foster children aged 0-17 eligible for Medicaid during FY 2005, 12,842 (34.7 percent) received a psychoactive medication. The table below displays psychiatric medication use broken down by age.

Psychoactive Medication* Use in Texas Foster Care Children for FY 2005

0-2 3.9%
3 19.3%
4-5 32.6%
6-12 55.3%
13-17 66.5%

*Most common drugs prescribed were antidepressants, antipsychotics and stimulants.


Antipsychotic medication, Antidepressant medication, Stimulant medication, Children’s mental health, Foster care, Medicaid


Texas Health and Human Services Commission. 2006. Use of psychoactive medication in Texas foster children, state fiscal year 2005.