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Currently, it is Texas Department of Family Protective Services policy to require foster parents of children prescribed psychotropic medication to make sure the child checks in with his or her physician every 90 days. This requirement is agency policy and not in the Texas Family Code. Additionally, under the current policy, it is not required that the child actually goes to see the physician in person. A simple phone call from the parent to the physician is enough to comply under existing policy
HB 838 codifies the 90 day checkup policy and specifies that foster children who are prescribed psychotropic medication must visit a physician every 90 days.
HB 838 represents a legitimate role of government and regulation at the proper level of government. Foster children are wards of the state so the state has a responsibility to provide for their care and protection. Although the current policy of the Texas DFPS is for foster children who receive psychotropic medication to see a doctor every 90 days, the policy could be strengthened through codification.
Under normal circumstances, TPPA would not support legislation requiring parents to have their children receive medical care at state specified intervals. However, because foster children are wards of the state and foster parents volunteer for the role, this legislation falls under the scope of the state government to monitor and regulate. HB 838 ensures that our state's most vulnerable citizens - mentally challenged children without biological family support - receive the proper attention from physicians. We encourage legislators to vote in favor of this bill.