August 14, 2009
An advocate for children in Florida’s foster care system is still critical of the state for it’s use of prescribed drugs to treat foster children, despite new attention being given to the issue.
The head of the state’s child welfare agency is recommending stricter rules for prescribing powerful antidepressants and other medication to foster children after a 7-year-old in state care committed suicide.
George Sheldon suggested the changes Thursday, the same day a 55-page preliminary report on Gabriel Myers’ death was released. The reports states that Florida officials have not “clearly articulated” the psychiatric care that children in the state’s care should receive.
The new report found a lack of accountability and inadequate supervision in every step of Gabriel’s case.
Myers hung himself with a retractable showerhead at a foster home in April. He was on powerful pyschotropic drugs at the time of his death. DCF officials have said that caseworkers didn’t communicate with Myers’ foster parents, teachers and doctors.
An attorney who has been an advocate for foster children remains critical of the state. Karen Gievers says while the agnecy’s secretary has suggested changes, the children in state care are still being administered the drugs.