Definition: Giving informed medical consent means making a decision about whether to agree to a medical test, treatment, procedure, or medication, as more fully described in Section 24.3.1 below.
To make an informed decision about behavioral health treatment or medications without undue influence means that the consenter is deciding based on what is best for the child, not because of pressure to consent to the medication or treatment services. For example, a decision must not be made based on a school’s or other entity’s insistence that a child take medication in order to participate or receive services.
Obtaining prompt and necessary health care for children is a priority for Children’s Division. Parents often have important historical information about their children’s health and valuable insights to aid decision-making. Resource providers have critical information about a child’s daily functioning. While children are in the custody of the Children’s Division, the Children’s Division case manager shall be primarily responsible for granting informed consent for their care. Resource providers may give informed consent for routine or standard treatment. This policy outlines steps for consultation and communication when managing routine and non-routine treatment decisions. Case managers should refer to this section to determine next steps after a health care provider recommends a specific treatment (e.g. medication, service, or procedure) for a child in Children’s Division’s custody.
To ensure that those authorized to give informed consent fully understand the role/responsibilities of granting informed consent, including considering the use of non-pharmacological interventions (options that do not involve medicines), Children’s Division has developed training to assist consenters. As described below, resource providers may only consent to routine treatments/services. Frontline practitioners may consent to routine and non-routine treatments/services. Frontline practitioners and resource providers must successfully complete this training before becoming consenters.
NOTE: This policy does not apply to cases where the youth is in the legal custody of a third party (LS-3).