A 12-year-old boy has bravely told how he was medicated into a near-stupor as he was passed between foster care homes. The seventh grader, known only as Ke’onte, told Congress that being given the mind-altering drugs was ‘the worst thing anyone could do to foster kids’. He revealed that he could barely eat while on the medication and was so exhausted ‘it felt like I would collapse wherever I was in the house’. ‘I’ve been in the mental hospital three times during foster care, and every time I had to get on more meds or new meds to add to the ones I was already taking,’ he said.
At just 6 years of age, still grieving over the death of the only mother he had ever known, his foster mother, Giovan Bazan would receive the first of many psychiatric ‘diagnoses’ and drugs that would plague him for the next twelve years of his life. Moved from foster home to foster home, orphanages and other modes of state care, Giovan was stigmatized with a plethora of psychiatric diagnoses and drugs until the age of 18, when he could finally make his own medical decisions and quit. Now a child advocate working part time at the Division of Family and Children Services (DFCS) in Georgia, Giovan is on a mission: To get a full-time job with DFCS and help enact laws to combat the wholesale labeling and drugging of foster children. In the video below, Giovan tells his story and why he decided to fight back against the abuse of kids in foster care.
Now, the Senate Subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management, chaired by Democratic Sen. Daniel Akaka of Hawaii, has asked the Government Accountability Office to look into the drugging of foster care children. The investigators will attempt to account for estimates in the hundreds of millions of dollars of possible fraud arising from prescriptions for drugs explicitly barred from Medicaid coverage. The GAO is collecting data from Oregon, Massachusetts, Florida, Maryland, Minnesota, and Texas, to search for patterns of abuse.