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COMMITTEE APPROVES BILL ADDRESSING MEDICATION FOR FOSTER CHILDREN
AUSTIN —The Senate Committee on Health and Human Services today unanimously approved HB 915, sponsored by Texas State Senator Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, to ensure the use of psychotropic medications by foster children is appropriate, necessary and monitored.
"While we have come a long way in addressing the issue of psychotropic medication for children in foster care, we still have more work to do to ensure we are only medicating children when appropriate," said Senator Nelson. "This legislation ensures that medicating children is not the first option or the only option considered."
Specifically, HB 915:
- Increases accountability and awareness for those making medical decisions by defining informed consent;
- Requires notification of biological parents when there are changes in the psychotropic medication plan for their children in foster care;
- Strengthens transition plans for foster children by including resources to manage medications after exiting foster care;
- Ensures that a foster child prescribed a psychotropic medication will see the prescribing physician at least once every 90 days;
- Strengthens training on psychotropic medications for medical consenters of foster children; and
- Provides additional tools to the child's guardian ad litem, attorney ad litem, caseworker, and court to protect the health and safety of a child.
The bill was authored by Texas State Representative Lois Kolkhorst, R-Brenham, and will now go to the full Senate for further consideration.
SENATOR JANE NELSON represents District 12, including portions of Tarrant and Denton Counties. She is Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health & Human Services.