Texas Foster Care System and Psychiatric Meds–Recipe for Abuse

Aug 17, 2008 by

Emily Ramshaw of The Dallas Morning News today has a disturbing story and one that is frightening to say the least if her information is correct, and there is little reason to doubt it.  Here is her lead:

AUSTIN – One in
three Texas foster children has been diagnosed with mental illness and
prescribed mind-altering drugs, including some that the federal
government has not approved for juveniles, state records show.

There are dozens of scary stories about what happens in foster care to begin with, and then add this component to the mix.  Can't you just imagine how this racket might work?  Foster parents seek kids for whatever reason, they can't have their own, the "love" kids, or they want the cash that comes from having an extra state-sponsored kid in the home; the kids is a little unruly, more than the foster parents bargained for, so take them to your local shrink, fill them with sedatives or suppressants, and viola, you have a ready-made recipe for disaster. 

And a circle of confluence where who knows how many kids are the potential for the victimization of such a scenario.  It's frightening, actually.  And who is to say that these kids shouldn't be on these meds?  Shrinks, shrinks who may already have their own racket going, so they're sure not going to shut down another one.  And so the vicious cycle continues, until one day when a reporter from TDMN says, hey, you're not going to believe this. 

Emily, I hope this is just the first part of your work.  Surely there is more to this.  Any readers out there have any first-hand knowledge of this?  Isn't this one of those Dr. Ivins' kind of deals where the best recourse the government has is to ask the scientists, some of whom may already be in on the gig?

This story gives me chills.

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1 Comment

  1. steve

    Very complex issue. FTR, the wife and I are both physicians, though she stopped practicing when we had our son. Many drugs are never approved for children or pregnant women. Drug companies do not want the risk. Fortunately, kids physiology is not that much different. CNS effects are another story. It is somewhat by trial and error that people figure out what works.
    I suspect there may be some scamming, but then I would expect a higher than normal rate of issues for these kids. hy are they in foster homes to begin with? Some of these will be truly difficult kids and some may go through a reactive depression at going into a foster home.
    All that aside, the numbers cited in the article are bothering. Those are pretty hefty consultant fees at first glance. The speaking fees are probably in line as it often requires a whole day off to make a speaking engagement. The answer may lie in comparing with other states. Also, there is a chronic shortage of qualified docs to care for these kids, at least in Pennsylvania. If the only people available are those with academic affiliations, then you would expect them to be doing research, and getting paid for it.
    Steve

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