Medication should be stored and inaccessible for children.


  1. All medications (not just prescription medication) must be kept in a locked place.
  2. All medications must be labeled and maintained in compliance with label instructions.
  3. No medication may be transferred from its original container.


Records must be kept of all prescription medications.  In your file for the child, there will be a Centrally Stored Medication Record to record the names, date, and dosage of all medications. 

When the child first arrives in your home, your social worker will help you fill out this form and will assist in counting the medications.  The number of pills will be recorded on the Centrally Stored Medication Record.  When you get a refill, you need to enter it onto the form, and enter the number of pills dispensed. 

On the date started column, you need to put the date you actually start using the new refill.  IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT THESE RECORDS BE KEPT ACCURATELY.

 You may not give the child any medication that is not specifically authorized by the child’s doctor.  You may not give any over the counter medications such as Tylenol or cough medicines unless your doctor has authorized you to do so in writing. 

You will be given a form to have your doctor fill out at the time of the initial physical examination to give you permission to give over the counter medications.

Medication must be administered by an adult, following the instructions on the label.  Do not give medications to a child to be taken later, and they must be taken in the presence of the adult. 

The only exception to this rule is that some children who have asthma must carry an inhaler with them.  In that case, the doctor must include in the medical record that the child is capable of appropriately utilizing the medication.

Medication must be kept in a prescription bottle.  You may not keep medicines in a medicine dispenser case.  Because some children take several different medications, it is sometimes confusing to dispense medications from a dispenser. 

Such problems can be avoided by having your pharmacist dispense medications in a “bubble pack” with all medications a child takes at the same time in the same bubble.  Discuss packing options with your pharmacist.  You cannot take medicines from one prescription bottle and put them in another. 

If your child takes medications at school, you need to figure out how many pills will be dispensed at school, and have the pharmacist dispense them into two bottles with appropriate prescription labels.  If you have a child who has routine family visits which will involve the family dispensing medications, discuss this with your family social worker.

All medications given to your foster child must be recorded.  If it is a regularly dispensed medication, such as an antibiotic that is given for 10 days, you must fill out the Monthly Medication Record, and initial when each dosage is dispensed.  (See samples of forms in the following pages). 

Your agency social worker will instruct you in the proper use of this form.  If the child is only taking an occasional over the counter medication, you will log it on Centrally Stored Medication Form.  Don’t forget that you may not give PRN medications unless the doctor has previously authorized it in writing, or you have called the doctor and gotten permission.  If you call the doctor, you must document the doctor’s instructions on the Medication log form.

If your child is going on a home visit or respite weekend that will require medications to be dispensed, you will need to send the Centrally Stored Medication Form with them. Remember to retrieve the form when the child returns from their visit.

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