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Psychotropic Medication Policy


Psychotropic medications are used to help treat mental health, emotional or behavioral issues, and there are important changes in Oregon law and administrative policies relating to psychotropic medication use for children in DHS custody who are in foster care or residing in treatment programs.

In 2009, the Oregon legislature passed House Bill 3114, which amended Oregon Revised Statute 418.571 concerning psychotropic medications for children in foster care. House Bill 3114 took effect on June 30, 2010.

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The first change is that a mental health assessment must be done before any child in foster care receives more than one new psychotropic medication or any antipsychotic medication, except in cases of urgent medical need. This change is to ensure that the children in our care have the appropriate assessment and diagnosis early in the course of treatment. We are working hard to ensure that children in our care receive all the services they need to address their mental health and other health needs, and we have made significant gains in ensuring these children receive timely mental health assessments and are working on other efforts such as the Oregon Wraparound Initiative to deliver comprehensive services to children with high needs.

The second change is the requirement for consent before a prescription for a psychotropic medication is filled. Consent is the process of receiving information about the medication and making a decision to agree to administration of the medication. Beginning in July 2010, all new prescriptions for psychotropic medications will require a signed consent from a DHS Child Welfare Program Manager or designee before the prescription may be filled. The foster parent will no longer be able to provide consent, but will be able to receive the prescription, which can be filled after consent is provided.

See the Oregon Administrative Rules about these medications.


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These are important changes to improve the care for children in foster care or in residential treatment programs, and we are working to communicate the new policy.

Please sign up to receive email alerts when this site is updated. We will be posting all communications, training opportunities and answers to frequently asked questions on this page. If you have questions about details of the new law or the informed consent procedures, please feel free to contact Roxanne Smith, RN, Nurse Manager at 503-945-6620.