California Code, Welfare and Institutions Code - WIC § 369.5

(a)(1) If a child is adjudged a dependent child of the court under Section 300 and the child has been removed from the physical custody of the parent under Section 361 , only a juvenile court judicial officer shall have authority to make orders regarding the administration of psychotropic medications for that child.  The juvenile court may issue a specific order delegating this authority to a parent upon making findings on the record that the parent poses no danger to the child and has the capacity to authorize psychotropic medications.  Court authorization for the administration of psychotropic medication shall be based on a request from a physician, indicating the reasons for the request, a description of the child's diagnosis and behavior, the expected results of the medication, and a description of any side effects of the medication.

(2)(A) On or before July 1, 2016, the Judicial Council shall amend and adopt rules of court and develop appropriate forms for the implementation of this section, in consultation with the State Department of Social Services, the State Department of Health Care Services, and stakeholders, including, but not limited to, the County Welfare Directors Association of California, the County Behavioral Health Directors Association of California, the Chief Probation Officers of California, associations representing current and former foster children, caregivers, and children's attorneys.  This effort shall be undertaken in coordination with the updates required under paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) of Section 739.5 .

(B) The rules of court and forms developed pursuant to subparagraph (A) shall address all of the following:

(i) The child and his or her caregiver and court-appointed special advocate, if any, have an opportunity to provide input on the medications being prescribed.

(ii) Information regarding the child's overall mental health assessment and treatment plan is provided to the court.

(iii) Information regarding the rationale for the proposed medication, provided in the context of past and current treatment efforts, is provided to the court.  This information shall include, but not be limited to, information on other pharmacological and nonpharmacological treatments that have been utilized and the child's response to those treatments, a discussion of symptoms not alleviated or ameliorated by other current or past treatment efforts, and an explanation of how the psychotropic medication being prescribed is expected to improve the child's symptoms.

(iv) Guidance is provided to the court on how to evaluate the request for authorization, including how to proceed if information, otherwise required to be included in a request for authorization under this section, is not included in a request for authorization submitted to the court.

(C) The rules of court and forms developed pursuant to subparagraph (A) shall include a process for periodic oversight by the court of orders regarding the administration of psychotropic medications that includes the caregiver's and child's observations regarding the effectiveness of the medication and side effects, information on medication management appointments and other followup appointments with medical practitioners, and information on the delivery of other mental health treatments that are a part of the child's overall treatment plan. The periodic oversight shall be facilitated by the county social worker, public health nurse, or other appropriate county staff.  This oversight process shall be conducted in conjunction with other regularly scheduled court hearings and reports provided to the court by the county child welfare agency.

(b)(1) In counties in which the county child welfare agency completes the request for authorization for the administration of psychotropic medication, the agency is encouraged to complete the request within three business days of receipt from the physician of the information necessary to fully complete the request.

(2) Nothing in this subdivision is intended to change current local practice or local court rules with respect to the preparation and submission of requests for authorization for the administration of psychotropic medication.

(c)(1) Within seven court days from receipt by the court of a completed request, the juvenile court judicial officer shall either approve or deny in writing a request for authorization for the administration of psychotropic medication to the child, or shall, upon a request by the parent, the legal guardian, or the child's attorney, or upon its own motion, set the matter for hearing.

(2) Notwithstanding Section 827 or any other law, upon the approval or denial by the juvenile court judicial officer of a request for authorization for the administration of psychotropic medication, the county child welfare agency or other person or entity who submitted the request shall provide a copy of the court order approving or denying the request to the child's caregiver.

(d) Psychotropic medication or psychotropic drugs are those medications administered for the purpose of affecting the central nervous system to treat psychiatric disorders or illnesses.  These medications include, but are not limited to, anxiolytic agents, antidepressants, mood stabilizers, antipsychotic medications, anti-Parkinson agents, hypnotics, medications for dementia, and psychostimulants.

(e) Nothing in this section is intended to supersede local court rules regarding a minor's right to participate in mental health decisions.

(f) This section does not apply to nonminor dependents, as defined in subdivision (v) of Section 11400 .


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