Overuse of Psychotropic Medications in Children and Youth in Foster Care
0.5 NAPNAP Contact Hour. This continuing education activity is offered at a reduced rate to NAPNAP Members. This continuing education activity rate is $5 for NAPNAP Members. For non- members, this continuing education activity rate is $10.
Children in foster care are a vulnerable population with unmet health care needs complicated by a history of trauma, making providing comprehensive care difficult for Advanced Practice Providers (APPs). Care for this population is often transient and crisis centered, and an estimated 80% of children in foster care having one or more psychiatric diagnoses. Despite this rate of psychiatric diagnoses, children in foster care are prescribed psychotropic medications at a disproportionately high rate that is more than twice that of Medicaid controls. Stimulants are the most prescribed medication class followed by atypical anti-psychotic medications. A better understanding of the common mental health diagnoses of children in foster care, common medication indications and their monitoring, and available evidence-based treatments are imperative for APPs to care for this population. APPs need to be strong advocates for this vulnerable population to reduce the risk of psychotropic medication overuse and improve overall health outcomes.
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Copyright 2023 © by National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners
This continuing education activity is administered by the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners as an agency providing continuing education credit. individuals who complete this program and earn a 70% or higher score on the post tests will be awarded 1.0 National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners contact hours.
Pediatric-focused advanced practice registered nurses.
1. Better understand the behavioral health needs of children and adolescents in foster care
2. Review common mental health diagnoses and treatment for children and youth in foster care
3. Identify barriers for Advanced Practice Providers in caring for the behavioral health needs for youth and children in foster care and potential ways to mitigate these barriers
4. Provide strategies to reduce overuse of psychotropic medication use in children and youth in foster care
Tracy W. Halasz, MSN, APRN, CPNP-PC, PMHS
Tracy W. Halasz is a Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (CPNP) at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) with certification as a Primary Mental Health Specialist (PMHS). She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Clemson University and with a Master of Science in Nursing from MUSC. Tracy has served as the primary care provider for children in foster care at the MUSC Foster Care Support Clinic (FCSC) since January 2013. Prior to that she worked for MUSC Child Abuse Pediatrics (CAP) providing child abuse and neglect assessments, as well as expert child abuse testimony in criminal and family court settings. Tracy also currently serves as the Professional Development and Wellness Systems Manager for the Advance Practice Provider (APP) Best Practice Center at the Medical university of South Carolina.
Tracy has been an invited speaker nationally on topics related to foster care, adolescent health, and mental health including the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP) Conferences, NAPNAP TeamPeds Talks Podcast, and South Carolina NAPNAP Conference and Webinars. She has also published a review on trauma-informed care for children in foster care in Contemporary Pediatrics. She recently contributed to the publication of the NAPNAP Partners for Vulnerable Youth Position Statement on the Health Care and Wellbeing of Children and Adolescents in Foster Care.
Tracy served on the South Carolina Foster Care Advisory Committee and planning committee for TeleECHO clinics for care providers treating children in foster care. She is an active member of NAPNAP, currently serving as Co-Chair for the NAPNAP Partners for Vulnerable Youth Alliance for Children in Foster Care, and Co-Chair for the NAPNAP Partners for Vulnerable Youth Alliance for Children in Foster Care Education and Evidence-Based Practice Committee.
- 0.50 Contact hours