Here’s just one statistic that Danbury school psychologist Charles Manos worries about: 42 percent of all kids in foster care are taking three or more mood-altering drugs. “All kids in foster care have some story of trauma, like abuse or neglect, so we need to ask the question `How are we dealing with trauma?'” Manos asked.
A federal lawsuit is seeking to bar New York City from allowing troubled foster-care children to be kept in psychiatric hospitals after doctors have recommended their release, a practice that routinely adds months to a hospitalization despite laws that require such children to be placed in the least restrictive environment possible.
Florida lawmakers are scheduled to discuss a measure Tuesday designed to curb the prescription of mental-health drugs to children in state care. Senate Bill 2718, also known as the Gabriel Myers Bill, would allow officials to more closely monitor the powerful psychiatric drugs dispensed to Florida foster care children.
The apparent suicide of 7-year-old boy Gabriel Myers, who was taking several psychiatric medications, has led to the introduction of a bill in the Florida legislature, which would assure that powerful mental health drugs dispensed to Florida foster care children would be more closely monitored.
Members of Florida’s Senate Children, Families and Elder Affairs Committee from both parties said the state needed to toughen laws and rules for prescribing psychiatric drugs to children in the wake of the hanging death of Gabriel Myers and an ongoing examination by a Department of Children and Families task force.