UM SSW The Institute  

Psychotropic Medication Monitoring

Contact Info:

Jennifer Lowther, Project Director

The State of Maryland has identified psychotropic medication prescribing and utilization practices for children and youth as an area of concern. Maryland is not alone in recognizing this issue - many states are currently implementing or drafting plans to address this area, particularly with the child welfare population, and there have been Congressional hearings and articles in national newspapers over the past few years articulating the need for action on this critical issue.

As such, the State of Maryland has prioritized four focus areas for action:

  1. Develop a mandatory consent and oversight process for children who have no other legal representative besides the state;
  2. Focus on young children, given the concern of psychotropic exposure on the developing brain;
  3. Implement a program for rational psychotropic prescribing in primary care; and
  4. Focus on the appropriate use and monitoring of antipsychotic treatment.

As part of the CHIPRA Quality Demonstration Grant, one of Maryland's goals is to implement and ensure standards of care for psychotropic medication prescribing practices for CME youth. Under the leadership of Susan dosReis, PhD, at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, Maryland is analyzing data on the number and type of psychotropic medications prescribed to youth served by the CMEs and identifying the instances where prescribing practices are inconsistent with identified best practice parameters. Training and technical assistance will be provided to the CMEs, families, family support partners, and prescribing physicians on best practices based on the data analyzed and patterns observed.

For more information on Maryland's Peer Review Program:

To read the Government Accountability Organization (GAO) report on psychotropic medication use in foster care children, please go to: