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CDSS Measure 5F
Authorization for Psychotropic Medications
To Report

Notes on Data Source

Note: With the Quarter 3, 2015 data extract, this program was revised to use the UCB_FC_AFCARS file as the primary data source. The UCB_FC_AFCARS file excludes non-dependent guardians, out-of-state ICPC placements, and non-foster care placements. This revision allows the inclusion of formerly excluded placements missing an entry on the Authority for Placement Table. It also allows the exclusion of certain previously included non-dependent guardian placements in placement episodes with multiple authorities for placement. In general, the revision slightly increases both the numerator and denominator. However, to the degree that counties have not been entering Authority for Placement data, these differences may be substantial.

This report provides the percentage of children in placement episodes with a court order or parental consent that authorizes the child to receive psychotropic medication.

The denominator includes children:

  • In Child Welfare Department or Probation supervised care;
  • Under age 18 as of the last day of quarter; and
  • With a placement episode open anytime during the quarter;
The denominator excludes children:
  • In incoming Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children (ICPC) placements;
  • In non-foster care placements; or
  • Who are placed with non dependent legal guardians.

The numerator includes the children described above with a:

  • Psychotropic indicator of (Y)es in the medications table;
  • Psychotropic medication consent date that occurred before the last day of the quarter; and
  • Prescription start and end date that overlap at least some part of the quarter.

Note: Reports for Child Welfare agency type begin in 2003 because reporting appears to have been incomplete prior to that time. Reports for Probation agency type begin in 2012 because reporting of psychotropic medication authorization only became possible for Probation with the shift from paper to on-line reporting.

Note: Cells containing a period (".") represent a value of zero. In cells representing quotients, a period may also indicate the indeterminate form 0/0.

This measure may also be run with filters in place to restrict the data to various subgroups of other variables (e.g., Black subgroup of the Ethnicity variable, <1 year old subgroup of the Age variable, etc.). Please see the links below for details:

Agency Type

Age Group

Ethnic Group


Placement Type