Golden Gate University Law Review


California desperately needs to amend the law pertaining to the administration of psychotropic medication to foster youth. State policy affecting foster youth impacts many lives, as California is home to fifteen percent of foster youth in the United States. While California began offering such protections, a comprehensive amendment to California’s law should address consent, case review for troublesome cases, monitoring, and a standard of review that matches the current standard used when prescribing involuntary medication to adults. Anything less than this falls short of the state’s duty to act, under the state’s parens patriae power, as the foster youth’s parent.

This Comment will discuss the current problem with overmedication of foster care youth, specifically in California. Part I outlines the immediate problems facing foster youth in the California dependency system who have been prescribed psychotropic medication and examines the federal and state laws that have attempted to address the issue. Part II explains what federal law requires and several states’ interpretations, specifically focusing on the definition of “oversight” and “monitoring.” Part III proposes an amendment to California’s law that addresses consent, case review, monitoring, and an adequate standard of review.