Beall Acts To Stop Over Medication Of Foster Youth In Group Homes

February 26, 2015

SACRAMENTO -- A proposal to track information pinpointing group homes that rely on over medicating foster care youth to control their behavior was introduced Thursday by Senator Jim Beall, D-San Jose.

“Senate Bill 484 steps up the state’s ability to identify group homes that  depend on psychotropic medications as the easiest means to control the behavior of foster youth,’’ Beall said. “Drugging and sedating children should never be considered the primary option in lieu of counseling, therapy, and appropriate treatment.’’

SB 484 calls for stricter oversight to identify group homes and their use of psychotropic drugs to determine if the medications are being used as chemical restraints. Data from the group homes and juvenile court records will be used to identify outliers.

Group homes found to be administering the drugs above the average for all facilities will be inspected and those found to be out of compliance will be required to take corrective action.

The bill also sets a goal of reducing the overall use of psychotropic drugs in group homes by 25 percent by the end of 2016. It also asks all stakeholders to participate in the creation of new standards and outcome measurements to achieve the reduction.

Sens. Holly Mitchell and Bill Monning and Assemblymember David Chiu are co-authors on the bill with Beall.