On June 8 and 9, 2006 the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services hosted a Psychopharmacology Expert Panel to provide consultation to the DCFS Consent Unit on specific problematic topics and to help develop general practice guidelines for clinicians and a companion information booklet for care providers. The expert panel presentation provided the background information and tasks given to participants, and the list of specific questions to be addressed.
The Department obtained expert consultation from Peter S. Jensen, M.D. on establishing the goals and objectives of the Expert Panel, choosing external consultants, organizing the Panel, and focusing its efforts. Dr. Jensen currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer of The REACH Institute. Previously, Dr. Jensen was the Founding Director of the Center for the Advancement of Children's Mental Health and Ruane Professor of Child Psychiatry at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. Prior to that he served as the Associate Director of Child and Adolescent Research at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). He was the lead NIMH investigator on the Multimodal Treatment of ADHD Study (the MTA Study) jointly funded by NIMH and the Department of Education. In conjunction with Dr. Jean Ortega-Piron and Dr. Jensen and with knowledge of important issues facing clinicians, foster children, and DCFS a list of specific questions was formulated.
The Expert Panel was facilitated by 3 nationally known experts in psychopharmacology (James McCracken, M.D., University of California Los Angeles Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry ; Mina K. Dulcan, M.D., Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago Department of Child and Adolescent psychiatry, and Mani Pavuluri, M.D., University of Illinois at Chicago Institute for Juvenile Research) who led the break out groups charged with the task of addressing specific questions. Panel participants included 10 child psychiatrists drawn from a list of the top 15 mental health care providers for state wards, representatives from the Department of Child and Family Services, representatives from the Child Welfare Advisory Committee – High End Treatment, the Clinical Director of the Cook County Office of the Public Guardian, the Head of the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Division of the Division of Mental Health for the state of Illinois, a representative from the Healthcare and Family Services Pharmacy Services, the president of the Illinois Council of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, the President of the Illinois Psychiatric Society, and two representatives from the Illinois Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Here is a complete list of participants.
- Bipolar Disorder
- Major Depression
- Sleep disorders, Enuresis
- Psychosis and Antipsychotics Medications
- Monitoring effectiveness and safety of treatment
- Evidence-based medicine, algorithms, practice guidelines
- Polypharmacy and co-pharmacy
- Additional services
Several products resulted from the work of the Panel, including:
- This website and its contents.
- The DCFS Psychotropic Medication List
- Guidelines for the Utilization of Psychotropic Medications for Children in Foster Care
- Medication algorithms