FL Rules for Drugging Foster Children Ignored
More on this important topic from the Miami Herald:
A first detailed look at the youngest foster children on mental-health drugs offers a disturbing glimpse into the state’s failure to heed a 2005 law — and its own policies.
Florida child-welfare administrators are largely ignoring a host of rules put in place to protect children from potentially dangerous — and sometimes unnecessary — drugs, according to a detailed state review of the records for more than 100 young foster children who are being given powerful psychiatric medications.
Caseworkers under contract with the state Department of Children & Families are failing to comply with almost every benchmark governing the use of psychotropic medication among foster children, according to the DCF report, obtained Tuesday by The Miami Herald.
Recent revelations come only four years after state lawmakers passed legislation to curb the use of mental-health drugs among children in state care. The law requires, among other things, informed consent from a parent or judge, second-party review of doctors’ prescriptions for the youngest children, and annual reports to the state Senate.
Among the most troubling findings, child advocates say, is the state’s almost complete failure to seek a second opinion from a psychiatrist under contract with DCF before administering mental-health drugs to the youngest children in state care — younger than age 6.
Front-line social workers, judges and child welfare administrators, how are you addressing this issue in your states?