Fleming calls on state to strengthen protections for children in foster care
INDIANAPOLIS – A recent report from the Office of the Inspector General found Indiana does not always comply with state requirements regarding psychotropic and opioid medications prescribed to children living in foster care.
The report found 109 of the 115 children included in the study did not have medical passports in their health care records, which help to inform foster parents of their medical history, and 76 of the 115 children did not have their prescriptions recorded in the Management Gateway for Indiana Kids. A large number of the children did not have the required reports from the prescribing health care providers for the psychotropic medications – which can be used to treat illnesses including depression and anxiety – and/or opioid medications, which are widely used to treat pain.
State Rep. Rita Fleming (D-Jeffersonville) today offered the following statement on the report:
“As a mother, a lawmaker and a long-time medical professional, I'm very concerned by the findings of this report. Children in foster care are some of the most vulnerable people in the state, and we need to be doing all we can to ensure their safety. Making sure that foster parents know a child's medical history, as well as having a thorough understanding of what medications they are on – including possible side effects – is of utmost importance. As the mother of a daughter who fosters children, I know very well the dangers faced when a child's medical history isn't readily available during an emergency. As we are expecting a large influx of children entering our foster care system due to the near-total ban on abortion, we must act now to strengthen the Department of Child Services to ensure workers have the resources necessary to do their jobs to the best of their ability. The safety and health of Hoosier children depend on it.”