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CWDS Curriculum

Child Psychopharmacology and CWS eLearning

Level: Advanced Practice

Credits: 1

Intended Audience: This course is intended for social workers, supervisors and managers interested in learning about the use of psychopharmacology to treat mental health needs in children

Description of course: Children and adolescents in the child welfare system suffer from emotional pain as a result of trauma and abuse or neglect and may suffer from symptoms associated with mental health disorders. These psychological symptoms can begin to interfere with life functioning. In specific situations, medication may be the catalyst to helping a child begin to experience life more fully. In this training we will explore a number of topics related to the use of medication in treating the needs of children and adolescents including commonly used types of medication, common side effects of medication, and the costs and benefits of using medication to treat children with mental health needs.

Intended Objectives:

  • Identify the goals of psychiatric treatment;
  • Identify psychotropic medications commonly used to treat childhood diagnoses;
  • Define off-label use of medications;
  • Explore costs and benefits associated with medicating children;
  • List common side effects associated with psychotropic medications;
  • Review helpful questions to ask treatment providers when considering the use of medication to manage a child or adolescent’s mental health symptoms; and
  • Review the four classes of medication

Topics Include:

  • The use of psychotropic medications to treat mental health needs in children
  • Commonly used medications
  • On and off label use of medications
  • Costs and benefits associated with medication treatment of mental health needs in children
  • Side effects related to medication treatment
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