Florida Politicians Failing To Protect Children In Foster Care

The story is found in Post On Politics, the heading reads, House won’t make it harder for state to put foster kids on psych drugs. Although Florida Senator Ronda Storms has a bill before the Florida Senate that would make it harder to drug children in Florida’s foster care system, the bill is given little chance of passing.

The Senate Health Regulation Committee unanimously approved Storms’ measure (SB 1808) and sent it on its way to its final committee this afternoon. But the House has yet to hear a similar proposal and, with the 2012 session midpoint approaching, appears unlikely to budge.

As should be apparent, Senator Storm has very good reason to sponsor a bill to protect children in foster care in her state.

Storms’ launched her psychotropic drug crusade after the 2009 death of 7-year-old Gabriel Myers, a Broward County foster child who hanged himself while under the influence of several psychiatric drugs. Storms’ bill includes many of the recommendations given by a Department of Children and Families workgroup in the aftermath of Myers’ death.

When the DCF, the state’s mental health agency, is also behind this bill, the culprit in this aiding and abetting of murder must be politicians and the drug companies that are pulling their strings.

Improved protocol monitoring by the DCF has managed to bring down the amount of psychiatric drug use among foster children by 10 %. The question is how long will this improvement last. Without a legal mandate to insure the protection of children, this kind of monitoring could be suspended at any time.

One of the commenters, Sheila Hollowell, left a comment under this report that speaks directly to the problem of the over drugging of children in foster care.

I am the grandparent given custody of a biological grandchild lost to our family after being kidnapped by her biological father years ago. This foster child had 23 various diagnoses and was on 17 psychotropic drugs. She was also locked away in a psychiatric/therapeutic facility. We fought endlessly with a plethora of workers and finally refused all drugs even though they demanded we do so. Today she is in junior college with no diagnosis of anything wrong with her. Her reading level went from 1st grade to 6 grade within 6 months after quitting the mind stewing drugs. The biggest problems in this kid’s life is what the ridiculous foster system continues to do to her.

Gabriel Myers’ death was not the first death that brought the situation of children in foster care to the attention of Florida’s law makers. Now it looks like we will have to wait for another child to die before they act. This kind of negligence on the part of our law makers is absolutely outrageous. Florida residents are encouraged to call their area representatives today, and to ask them to vote in favor of making it harder to drug children in foster care.