Lawmakers advance limits on medicating children

By: MICHAEL BRICK, Associated Press
By: MICHAEL BRICK, Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - New limits on the use of psychotropic drugs on children in foster care are advancing in the Texas Legislature.

In a 30-1 vote Wednesday, the Senate approved a bill that would require more training for foster parents, notification of biological parents and court monitoring. It would also require a medical evaluation every three months.

The state has adopted several changes since a 2004 report found 42 percent of children in foster care were prescribed psychotropic drugs. But a 2011 federal study found foster children were still medicated at a higher rate than other children.

The bill has already cleared the House. Republican Sen. Jane Nelson of Flower Mound told her colleagues the measure "ensures that medication is not the first option or the only option considered."

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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