Alabama Psychiatric Medication Review Team (APMRT): Advocating for Foster Children

Odessa Luna, John T Rapp, M. Christopher Newland, Rachel Arena, Laura Lynn LaPointe, Erica Kierce, Peter Lusche


Foster care children who engage in challenging behavior are likely to receive psychotropic medication as the primary intervention to reduce their behavior. These children are more likely to receive multiple psychotropic medications from the same class or three or more medications to treat a given behavioral condition, a practice called polypharmacy. In response to this practice, federal legislation mandated states to monitor psychotropic medication prescriptions to foster care children. Consequently, the Deputy Director of the Alabama Department of Human Resources proposed the development of a behavioral health professional team, collectively known as the Alabama Psychiatric Medication Review Team (APMRT). The APMRT was tasked with developing application and safety guidelines for prescribers and determining the extent to which behavioral interventions are a cost-effective alternative for managing problem behavior. This paper briefly outlines APMRT’s general strategies, describes the team members’ roles, and discusses future directions.


behavioral interventions, foster care, psychotropic medications, problem behavior

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Published by the University of Illinois at Chicago Library

And Behaviorists for Social Responsibility