WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal watchdog agency says thousands of foster kids may be getting powerful psychiatric drugs prescribed to them without basic safeguards.
The report due Monday from the Health and Human Services inspector general's office finds a failure to care for youngsters whose lives have already been disrupted.
Investigators found that about 1 in 3 children in a sample of states were either prescribed psychiatric drugs without treatment plans or follow-up, which are considered standard in medical care.
Kids getting mood-altering drugs they don't need is only part of the problem. Investigators also said children who need medication to help them function at school or get along in social settings may be going untreated.
The federal Administration for Children and Families says it may need additional legal authority to raise standards.