tagged w/ Foster Care
Children in foster care are significantly more likely than other kids to be given mind-altering drugs, according to a study of five states released Thursday by the Government Accountability Office.
The report, which focused on children in the Medicaid program, also found that foster kids were more likely to be prescribed five or more psychotropic drugs at an age and at doses that exceed the maximum FDA-approved levels — both of which carry serious health risks.
Some 3,841 infants under age one were prescribed a psychotropic drug in the five states the report looked at. Seventy-six of them were in foster care. Experts say there's no good reason for infants to take such drugs, the GAO notes.
The report "confirms some of my worst fears," Sen. Thomas R. Carper, D-Del., said in a Senate hearing on the issue Thursday, adding that states and the federal government have not done enough to monitor the problem.
The two-year investigation in Florida, Massachusetts, Michigan, Oregon and Texas found that foster children were prescribed psychotropic drugs at rates 2.7 to 4.5 times higher than other children in Medicaid in 2008. Psychotropic drugs include those used to treat ADHD, anxiety, depression and psychosis.
In total, the five states spent more than $375 million in Medicaid funds for psychotropic drugs for both foster and non-foster children.
more at link...
Also more likely to get caught up in Sandusky child rape rings. Dyncorp, a subsidiary of Halliburton actually has contracts with CPS (Child Protective Services) to take kids.
The military-industrial complex along with its eugenics counterpart the pharmaceutical industrial complex not only control the gov't, the cops and the money, they run the drugs, the mob and the human trafficking. Ultimately, all roads lead to the New World Order, so you cowards better wake up, before they take your kids.Children in foster care are significantly more likely than other kids to be given... more
Ohio social workers have sparked a debate over parental responsibility and government interference by removing a 200-pound eight-year-old boy from his home and family, citing "medical neglect."
http://veracitystew.com/2011/11/29/social-workers-remove-obese-child-from-home-video/Ohio social workers have sparked a debate over parental responsibility and government... more
June 16th, 2011
03:11 PM ET
My Take: On adoption, Christians should put up or shut up
Editor's Note: Jason Locy is co-author of Veneer: Living Deeply in a Surface Society. He and his wife are adoptive parents and participants in Safe Families for Children, a voluntary alternative to foster care.
By Jason Locy, Special to CNN
When the Arkansas Supreme court struck down a voter-approved initiative that banned cohabitating straight and gay couples from adopting orphaned children, the Christian community predictably erupted.
Byron Babione of the Alliance Defense Fund, a coalition of Christian lawyers, attributed the April ruling to a “political movement afoot to undermine and destroy marriage.” Baptist Press, the publications arm of the Southern Baptist Convention, ran an article that quoted Babione as saying the ruling reflected “a campaign to place adult wants and desires over the best interests of children."
On one hand, these comments aren’t surprising. Conservative evangelicals have decried “the anti-family gay agenda” for decades. On the other, they underscore the way many Christians denounce a social problem that they have no plan for solving.
And the problem here is not ultimately gays adopting — the prevention of which, I believe, was the impetus behind the Arkansas initiative and behind adoption restrictions in various other states. The problem is a global orphan crisis involving tens of millions of children.
In the United States, there are approximately 116,000 foster children waiting to be adopted. That means a judge has either severed the rights of the original parents or the parents have voluntarily signed their children over to the government.
To put this into perspective, we might compare the number of American orphans to the purported 16 million Southern Baptists who attend more than 42,000 churches nationwide. Quick math reveals that there are roughly 138 Southern Baptists for every child in the American foster care system waiting to be adopted. To say it another way, this single denomination has an enormous opportunity to eradicate the orphan crisis in America.
If you’ve spent any time in church, you’ve probably heard a sermon on Noah or Moses or David. But how many sermons have you heard on the biblical mandate to care for orphans?
When was the last time you heard your pastor declare, “if you choose to adopt a child we will stand with you. We will provide respite care, financial help and do everything possible to meet the needs of that child?”
Southern Baptists, Presbyterians, Methodists, Catholics — the Christian Church — can provide safe, loving, permanent homes for these kids. Our faith dictates that we fight for a better way in both words and deeds.
When Jesus asked Peter if he loved him, and Peter responded yes, Jesus didn’t tell him to picket the wolves. He told Peter to feed and tend his sheep.
Some churches and Christian groups are stepping up. Focus on the Family launched a Wait No More initiative in Colorado in 2008, forming partnerships between local churches, adoption agencies and the government in order to encourage families to adopt through the foster care system. As a result, the number of Colorado orphans waiting for a family has been cut in half.
Christianity Today ran a 2010 report headlined “Adoption is Everywhere,” illustrating the trend among churches and Christians who are giving “attention to orphans, adoption, the fatherless, and so on.”
Despite such efforts, the American orphan crisis remains. Too many churches still find it easier to stand behind a megaphone decrying the morality of laws than to stand beside a child in need.
Thousands of orphaned children in America need grandmas and grandpas, embarrassing uncles and crazy aunts. They need someone to teach them to fly a kite and throw a ball and read a book and tie their shoes. They need someone to call mom and dad.
In fairness, adopting a child is not easy and many of these children face difficult adjustments once they’re adopted. They have experienced pain, loss, hurt, confusion and misplaced trust. They have endured physical, emotional and sexual abuse — things most of us don’t even want to imagine.
In 2008, when my wife and I adopted through Bethany Christian Services, the organization educated us on the possible challenges of adopting a child. They informed us that even though our daughter was a baby when we brought her home, she would eventually ask tough questions, as would our friends and family.
But my wife and I know our faith demands action and that sometimes action takes us out of our comfort zone.
As a father of three — two biological children and an adopted child — and a host to a number of children that have needed a temporary home I can tell you these kids need less arguing over who should and should not be allowed to adopt and more families stepping up and saying, “we will adopt.”
It is time Christians decide to either step up or shut up. If a Christian group wants to wade into the discussion over who should adopt, it needs to put its money and manpower where its mouth is.
That means not only challenging families and churches to adopt from foster care (which costs virtually nothing financially) but also to adopt children resulting from unplanned pregnancies, children with special needs and children of mixed race or minority ethnicity.
If Christians’ only desire is to fight the culture wars and score political points, then they should continue to lean on empty rhetoric. But if they truly care about the family and the Bible, they’ll begin caring for children who desperately need a home.
The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Jason Locy.CNN..... June 16th, 2011 03:11 PM ET My Take: On adoption, Christians should... more
More signs of the times. (End times? Or just decline and fall of the American empire?)
Under a new budget proposal from State Sen. Bruce Casswell, children in the state’s foster care system would be allowed to purchase clothing only in used clothing stores.
Casswell, a Republican representing Branch, Hillsdale, Lenawee and St. Joseph counties, made the proposal this week, reports Michigan Public Radio.
“I never had anything new,” Caswell says. “I got all the hand-me-downs. And my dad, he did a lot of shopping at the Salvation Army, and his comment was — and quite frankly it’s true — once you’re out of the store and you walk down the street, nobody knows where you bought your clothes.”
Under his plan, foster children would receive gift cards that could only be used at places like the Salvation Army, Goodwill and other second hand clothing stores.
The plan was knocked by the Michigan League for Human Services. Gilda Jacobs, executive director of the group, had this to say:
“Honestly, I was flabbergasted,” Jacobs says. “I really couldn’t believe this. Because I think, gosh, is this where we’ve gone in this state? I think that there’s the whole issue of dignity. You’re saying to somebody, you don’t deserve to go in and buy a new pair of gym shoes. You know, for a lot of foster kids, they already have so much stacked against them.”
Casswell says the plan will save the state money, though it isn’t clear how much the state spends on clothing for foster children or how much could be saved this way (of coarse just more echoes in the chamber ,..right?!)(I am just more and more disgusted with the human waste in the republican party and their evil will no longer be tolerated ACTION is required save the children from these evil doers!)-figgMore signs of the times. (End times? Or just decline and fall of the American empire?)... more
You can help Partnered for Success by donating to their project on StartSomeGood. http://startsomegood.com/Venture/partnered_for_success/Campaigns/Show/Partnered%20for%20Success They want to raise enough money by the end of May to successfully launch their pilot program in the fall.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N3CO7YKg_hAYou can help Partnered for Success by donating to their project on StartSomeGood.... more
Latest Complete News Updates Here are all the deals that start Sunday 2/27 at Kroger. Eight years ago, a child protection investigator and a deputy sheriff removed a 9-year-old Oregon girl from her classroom and questioned her at length as to whether her father had sexually abused her.Latest Complete News Updates Here are all the deals that start Sunday 2/27 at Kroger.... more
What happens to children caught up in the "system" once they become adults? How many succeed in today's world? How many become addicts or in prison? How many just get lost and have mental problems for life? This really needs to be investigated and shown to the public. I, Myself am one of these lost kids of the "system" and am now 49.......What happens to children caught up in the "system" once they become adults?... more
Here is Another Article by Windy City Media about our story.
When Lakeview couple Matt Nalett and Fred Steinhauer began the process to adopt a 15-year-old boy earlier this year, they gained excitement with each step along the way, passing background checks, a home inspection and meeting with the boy's therapist, case worker and a welfare agent as part of the rigorous process all potential foster parents undergo.
But the process was halted Sept. 15 when Nalett and Steinhauer were told the faith-based agency overseeing the care of the 15-year-old—"Kenny"—did not license adoptive or foster care families who identify as LGBT. The couple was turned away while Kenny, a ward of the state for the last seven years, would remain under care of the agency—the River Forest-based Lutheran Child and Family Services ( LCFS ) of Illinois.
Nalett and Steinhauer, who have lived together for seven years and were legally married in Canada, said they feel they were "led on" by LCFS. Steinhauer told Windy City Times they "made it very clear" to the agency that they were a gay couple from the start of their process. They had been regularly meeting with Kenny for "a number of months" before they were first told their sexual orientation violated the agency's policy.
"They knew very clearly that we were a same-sex couple. They knew for months before then and it was no secret," Steinhauer said. "We were never made aware of their policy."
Nalett originally met Kenny this year, while volunteering with a Lakeview area group for teenage runaways. Kenny came to the group after a long history of unstable housing. At one point, Kenny—who is also gay—had run away from a group home where he had encountered bullying.
According to Kendall Marlowe, spokesman for the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services ( DCFS ) , three faith-based agencies in the state—LCFS, Catholic Charities and the Wheaton-based Evangelical Child and Family Agency—do not license same-sex foster or adoptive parents.
While the agencies have done so under a specific exemption to the Illinois Human Rights Act for faith-based adoption agencies, Lambda Legal staff attorney Christopher Clark argued the agencies' receipt of state funding—a cumulative total of over $40 million in fiscal year 2010—renders their exclusion of same-sex prospective parents discriminatory and illegal under state, county, city and potentially federal law.
"The law prohibits the government from discriminating against LGBT families when providing social services and government-funded social service organizations have to comply with the law," Clark said. "There is a fundamental difference between a private adoption agency and an organization involved in placing children in foster homes, which is a state responsibility."
Lambda Legal met with DCFS and staff from the state attorney general and governor's offices in early November to "begin to resolve the legal issues" surrounding the controversy, Marlowe said. If the parties involved choose to change their legal interpretation of the aforementioned agencies' policies on same-sex adoption, those agencies would "have to grapple with that," he added.
Marlowe declined to discuss details of any specific actions that may be taken, but wanted to make it clear that LGBT families considering becoming foster or adoptive parents remain welcomed by DCFS. Most Illinois adoption agencies are inclusive of same-sex couples.
"We still want gay men and lesbians coming to us to parent. We know from experience and research that sexual orientation has no bearing whatsover on the ability of a parent to provide a safe, loving permanent home to a child," he said.
"DCFS is happy to see further movement in Illinois toward tolerance and inclusion and we will continue to collaborate and work toward that goal," Marlowe added.
Since Nalett and Steinhauer's story was first reported on WFLD Fox 32 on Nov. 8, Kenny was transferred from the care of LCFS to DCFS and will be assigned a new case worker, though he is still living in the same group home. Meanwhile, Nalett and Steinhauer have begun their process to become foster parents anew—a process they expect may take up to six months.
"The person who suffers most is not us, it's really Kenny," Steinhauer said, when asked if he felt frustrated at restarting the process again. "He still remains in the foster care system, being bounced from one agency to DCFS and that doesn't really do anyone any good."
Steinhauer hoped, in addition to he and Nalett being licensed as Kenny's foster parents, their story would help other prospective foster and adoptive parents, opening up "a whole new avenue of resources for children who desperately need loving homes" and raising awareness of the continued discrimination queer families face in the state.
LCFS did not return Windy City Times' request for comment for this story as of press deadline; moreover, the agency's policy on same-sex adoptive and foster parents is no longer visible on its website.Here is Another Article by Windy City Media about our story.... more
UPDATED WITH VIDEO FROM STORY.
I really do not post my "own" story or issue but i thought you all might want to read what me and my partner are going through. This is also a open forum for debate with constructive comments no bashing. I personally think if anyone has everything done according to state law and guidelines that anyone should be able to adopt or foster a person who has been given a bad deck of cards. You see with me personal discrimination is 1 thing (i could care less) but well when it involves someone who wants to have a loving family or someone to call a family i think that these "Faith" based organizations do no justice with helping wards of the state. Its all about a ID number with them and revenue from the state.
By Mark Saxenmeyer, FOX Chicago News
Chicago - Gays and lesbians have been serving as foster parents, and legally adopting children in Illinois, for decades. But now, one Chicago couple says they've been turned away by a faith-based adoption agency, because of their sexual orientation. That agency freely admits they won't let gays adopt.
So, is it a case of blatant discrimination, or religious freedom?
FOX Chicago News recently launched an investigation into the issue that has both government and civil rights leaders scrambling to settle the law.
The story begins in the Lakeview home of Fred Steinhauer and Matt Nalett, who have lived together for seven years and got legally married in Canada.
"We've tried to really make this a comfortable, safe secure place," Steinhauer said. "We're starting to get ready for Christmas. Family really is something you have to define for yourself as life goes along."
But they never really considered having kids together, joking that they had two cats and a ferret instead. However, in the last few months, Nalett has begun working with a teenage runaway group that assists kids in the Boystown area of Lakeview. He met a 15-year-old who, in order to protect his identity, we'll call Kenny.
"He was not just a runaway, he was a missing kid," said Nalett.
Removed from his biological family because of unsuitable living conditions, Kenny has been a ward of the state for seven years, bouncing between foster and group homes. He ran away from a group home because he was being bullied by residents and he decided it was in his best interest to be on the street.
Kenny is also now coming to terms with his sexuality. He, too, is gay.
Kenny was in the care of Lutheran Child Family Services (LCFS), and Steinhauer and Nalett began the process with the agency to become foster parents. They said they passed background checks, went through a home inspection, and met with Kenny's therapist, his caseworker and state child welfare agents.
"I made it very clear, crystal clear at the beginning of the meeting, that Matt and I were a gay couple," Steinhauer said. "And never once was it mentioned that our sexual orientation was an issue."
But then, just as they were about to start child development and guidance classes required for foster parents, the orientation instructor handed them a policy statement.
"She's like, 'Um, you need to read this. I don't want to waste your time. And have a nice day,'" said Nalett.
The LCFS policy statement said the agency "will not develop or license adoptive or foster care families who identify themselves as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or questioning."
"Devastated. It's like my brain just like hit the floor," Nalett said.
"I couldn't believe that anyone would be so blatant in actually handing someone a written policy of discrimination," Steinhauer said.
But was the policy statement an example of illegal discrimination?
When FOX Chicago News called LCFS for an explanation, President and CEO Gene Svebakkan told us his agency must uphold the doctrines, practices and beliefs of the Lutheran church. And the policy of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, he said, does not condone same sex adoption.
The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) confirmed that the Illinois Human Rights Act actually exempts religious-based adoption agencies from the anti-discrimination rules every other agency must follow.
Lutheran Child and Family Services received $19.9 million in state funding in fiscal year 2010. And, according to DCFS, two other adoption or foster care agencies--Catholic Charities, and Evangelical Child and Family--also cite religious reasons for excluding gays. Those groups received more than $23 million in state funding in fiscal year 2010. Civil rights attorney Camilla Taylor, the senior staff attorney for Lambda Legal, told FOX Chicago News that state contractors are prohibited by law from discrimination, and provided several similar state and federal court rulings that she said set a clear precedent.
"That is contrary to Illinois law but it's also a terrible wrong done to kids," Taylor said.
After our investigation started, DCFS provided FOX Chicago with this statement:
"DCFS and the Illinois child welfare system have a proud history of tolerance and inclusiveness. We have licensed tens of thousands of foster and adoptive parents without regard for sexual orientation, and we know from experience and research that sexual orientation does not affect parents' abilities to provide a safe, loving home for children. DCFS met last week with Lambda Legal, along with the Governor's Office and Attorney General's office, to begin to resolve these very complex legal issues. We all share a commitment to shape Illinois law and policy to respect the rights of all Illinoisans, and we will continue working together toward that goal."
FOX Chicago's latest calls to Lutheran Child Family Services for comment have gone unanswered. However, a new check of their website shows the policy denying gays the right to adopt has now been removed.
Steinhauer and Nalett said that legalities aside, they're more concerned with how their rejection is affecting Kenny.
"Kenny had been holding out hope that this would be a source of having a supportive family for him. And now he's thinking, 'Well, is that really going to happen? Am I simply going to be disappointed again? Because no one really cares'," Steinhauer said.
And they point out that the line of people clamoring to take in, to help, and to support a troubled gay teenage runaway is pretty much nonexistent.
Kenny is now set to be transferred to a different child welfare agency-- one that does allow gay adoption. And Steinhauer and Nalett have once again begun the application process to become his guardians.
"The real reward of dealing with the rebelliousness or the immaturity or the confusion about what he wants to do with the rest of his life comes when he says 'I think I'm now part of a family again,' when he gives you a hug," said Steinhauer.
And when he calls us 'dads'," added Nalett.
Because in their Lakeview home, they said family is important.
"You make your own family, whoever's right in your heart," said Nalett.
Join the Facebook Group
Mark Saxenmeyer welcomes comments, story ideas and tips at firstname.lastname@example.org
Here is the First 3 Stories i posted on Current About Kenny So as you can see i have pretty much been dealing with this subject a while now.
http://current.com/items/92554955_homeless-teen-caught-in-the-system-part-3.htmUPDATED WITH VIDEO FROM STORY. I really do not post my "own" story or... more
Georgiana Glenn Helmbolt, 47-year-old woman from Spring Lake, Minnesota, has been sentenced to serve five years at the Minnesota Correctional Facility and 30 months of supervised release when she gets out of prison.
Helmbolt was convicted by a Scott County jury of six men and six women on three counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct stemming from engaging in sex with her 15-year-old foster son. Three first-degree criminal sexual conduct charges were filed against her by the Scott County Attorney’s Office in August 2009.
In addition to the prison sentence, Helmbolt was ordered to 10 years of conditional release, not to have any unsupervised contact with juvenile males, take her prescription medications, not possess or use any pornographic material, enter and complete sex-offender treatment and register as a predatory offender upon her release.
On June 15, 2009 after a Scott County deputy responded to a call of a domestic situation between Helmbolt and the foster child in the 5900 block of 217th Street in Spring Lake Township. When the deputy arrived, Helmbolt stated the teen damaged her vehicle and threw her to the ground when she tried to stop him.
Read Complete Article
http://femalesexoffenders.com/fso/index.php/the-news/237-georgiana-helmbolt-convictedGeorgiana Glenn Helmbolt, 47-year-old woman from Spring Lake, Minnesota, has been... more
TALLAHASSEE — A new study from the Florida Department of Children and Families showed proper authorization was not obtained for 16 percent of Florida foster children who take anti-depressants and psychotropic drugs. The study was ordered after a 7-year-old boy committed suicide in Margate this year.
State records did not show the drugs he had been prescribed. The records also showed required consent had not been obtained from the boys parents or a judge.
The report showed that a total of 2,699, or 13.2 percent, of Florida children in out-of-home care have been prescribed at least one psychotropic medications. 59 percent of those children are between the ages of 13 and 17 years old.
73 children, or roughly 2.8 percent, who have been given psychotropic drugs are under the age of 5.
State records also showed that for 16.2 percent of the 2,669 children receiving psychotropic medicines, there was no authorization obtained.
DCF said it will be strengthening its reviewing of medications, conducting a weekly conference call about psychotropic meds, and other measures to better protect the children in foster care who receive psychotropic medications.TALLAHASSEE — A new study from the Florida Department of Children and Families... more
And Whose Best Interest is This? Answer The Predator « How Child Protection Services Buys and Sells Our Childrenwhy are they doing this and whose best interest is it really?
Oregon - Re: Psych drug - rules tighten for foster children - "1 in 5 in foster care prescribed at least one psychiatric drug""I was in an abusive situation and was a kid who simply was expressing symptoms of abuse-and nobody was listening to me."
6/15/2010, 12:11 a.m. PDT
The Associated Press
(AP) — PORTLAND, Ore. - Justin Snegirev mostly remembers feeling nauseous, tired and alone during the more than seven years he spent in state foster care.
Placed in a foster home when he was 8, Snegirev says it wasn't long before he was prescribed Ritalin, a drug used to treat attention deficit disorders. Next came an antidepressant and then a sleeping pill. Between ages 8 and 15, Snegirev says he was given at least seven different types of psychiatric drugs.
But he wasn't mentally ill, says Snegirev, now 20. "I was in an abusive situation and was a kid who simply was expressing symptoms of abuse-and nobody was listening to me."
As of July 1, Oregon will have a new law and new rules to ensure closer scrutiny of psychiatric drugs given to kids living in foster homes.
The change follows a November 2007 investigation by The Oregonian that found children in foster care were prescribed powerful psychiatric medications at four times the rate of other children covered by Medicaid. The investigation also noted that foster parents were paid more if children were on psychiatric medications.
A state audit the next year found one in five children in foster care was prescribed at least one psychiatric medication. The audit also found medication logs missing from child welfare files, poor communication between caseworkers and foster parents about medication and few children receiving timely mental health assessments as required by law.
New state data show those assessments still happen only half the time. Between October 2009 and January 2010, 55 percent of the children entering Oregon foster care had a mental health assessment within the first 60 days.
Officials say that will have to change under the new law. Children must have a mental health assessment before they are given any anti-psychotic drug or more than one of another type of psychiatric drug. There will also be mandatory medication reviews for children under age 6 who are taking psychiatric medications and for older kids with more than two psychiatric prescriptions.
In addition to the new law, the Department of Human Services has new rules on consent for psychiatric medications. In the past, the decision was left to the doctor and foster parents. Now, a child welfare manager must approve.
Changes made last year mean foster parents do not automatically get a higher rate simply because a child takes a psychiatric drug. Advocates for children support the shift of consent from the foster parent to child welfare manager.
We thought there should be more oversight and that foster parents should not be the ones making that decision ... the trick will be whether they can do that efficiently," says Mark McKechnie, executive director of the Juvenile Rights Project, serving children and parents in the child welfare system.
Steve McCrea, a supervisor with the CASA program in Multnomah and Washington counties, says the new policy marks a "significant improvement."
Kids were getting very inconsistent treatment," says McCrea, who supervises volunteers who advocate for children in foster care. "They'd be in one foster home with a whole bunch of medication and move to another foster home, where they didn't need it anymore. It was hard to determine why they were getting medication in one place and not in another.
It's too soon to know how the changes will affect doctors, said Dr. Nancy Winters, a child psychiatrist at Oregon Health & Science University, who consulted on the new rules.
But she notes that the new law simply asks for mental health assessments before certain drugs or multiple drugs are given: "I think most people would see that as pretty reasonable."
Foster parents are wary.
"There was some sort of assumption that foster parents were doping kids up so they had to change this. It was a knee-jerk reaction," says Don Darland, president of the Oregon Foster Parent Association.
Darland worries about the traumatized child who can't sleep. If it's a Friday night, he says, it could be Wednesday under the new rules before he can get medications.
The new rules include emergency language for such situations, counters Kevin George, state foster care manager.
These are weighty decisions," he says, "it's important for foster parents to understand that we're shouldering the responsibility with them."
Snegirev ran away from his foster home at 15, in part he says, because he didn't want to take the drugs any longer.
He thinks the new state law doesn't go far enough. He'd like to see a mandatory waiting period, allowing a child to get used to a new foster home before he is given psychiatric drugs. And Snegirev wishes that teens coming out of foster care had more state support.
Living on his own and without the medications for five years, Snegirev wants to earn his GED, go to college and maybe become a lawyer. Recently he became president of the Oregon Foster Youth Connection, a group of young people between 14 and 25, who have personal experience with the Oregon foster care system.
His agenda includes raising awareness about the drugs prescribed to children in foster care.
"I feel my job as president is to advocate for other youths," he says. "I want to support them in meeting their goals."
http://www.oregonlive.com/newsflash/index.ssf?/base/national-130/1276591511306640.xml&storylist=orlocal&thispage=1"I was in an abusive situation and was a kid who simply was expressing symptoms... more
State let danger linger after foster kid’s drug death
By FRED GRIMM
Apr 21, 2010
Note the date — July 17, 2006. Denis Maltez, a 67-pound wisp confined to a state-licensed group home, suffered the debilitating effects of his startling drug cocktail.
He was ferried over to Miami Children’s Hospital for emergency services.
Aug. 4, 2006. This time, the severely autistic boy was taken to Baptist Hospital, vomiting, dehydrated, bleeding from his gums. Baptist doctors cite his regime of powerful prescription drugs.
Oct. 26, 2006. A teacher reports sleeping, shaking, trembling. Suspects overmedication.
Jan. 9, 2007. According to the Florida Agency for Persons with Disabilities, the agency received an abuse hot-line report warning that Denis was neglected and overmedicated.
“Overmedicated” became an understatement of fatal dimensions.
The child’s medical records indicate he had been addled with maximum adult dosages of Zyprexa and Seroquel. “Adult dosages” should have been an irrelevant term. Neither antipsychotic was approved for children.
Add a tranquilizer and a mood stabilizer to the concoction, and it’s little wonder that young Denis descended into such a dangerous zombie state during his stay at Miami’s Rainbow Ranch Group Home that he twice had to go to an ER.
None of the warnings mattered. Some caregivers may have been worried, but the psychotropics kept coming. On May 23, 2007, the kid quit breathing. He was 12.
LAYING THE BLAME
State officials, perhaps shamed by their complicity, moved quickly. A dossier was compiled against the three licensed Rainbow Ranch group homes, listing grotesque incidents in which disabled children in the homes were haphazardly fed, neglected, overmedicated and so under-supervised that the kids physically abused one another.
Just seven days after 12-year-old Denis’ death, the state convinced a judge to suspend Rainbow Ranch’s license.
The criminal record of the group home’s manager and co-owner, David J. Glatt, might not have been legally pertinent to this case, but a 2000 arrest and subsequent conviction for practicing medicine and dispensing drugs without a license probably added to the sense of urgency. Note the date of the suspension: June 1, 2007.
But physical abuse, a paucity of food or staff neglect didn’t kill Denis. The medical examiner’s findings indicated the kid likely died from the effects of psychotropic drugs, prescribed and prescribed again, despite the warnings and the mounting evidence that the child was descending into oblivion.
Yet the drug-happy doctor who authorized these fatal cocktails was able to continue to treat some 800 disabled and impoverished children, nominally under state care. Nor were state officials able to dissuade him from a propensity to load these kids up on dangerous psychotropics.
A MATTER OF TIME
The very state regulators who snuffed out Rainbow Ranch in just seven days handled Dr. Steven L. Kaplan with such deference, it was as if his patients mattered far less than the doctor’s reputation.
State regulators only decided to jettison Kaplan from the state Medicaid insurance program this week, the day after their inaction was publicized in a story by The Miami Herald’s Carol Marbin Miller.
Note the date. Kaplan’s termination becomes effective May 17, 2010.
For a wisp of a child, the regulators were three years too late.State let danger linger after foster kid’s drug death By FRED GRIMM Apr 21,... more
There are now more mothers behind bars than at any other point in US history. But these mothers are invisible to most of us.
They exist mostly as caricatures of the ultimate bad mother. They are viewed as the mothers who violated the basic maternal commitment to care for their children and instead engaged in wrongful criminal activities.
But, in truth, mothers' pathways to incarceration are complex, and most often rooted in issues of sexual and physical violence. Most mothers behind bars were first victims of violence. The shared narrative arc of mothers behind bars is that of repeated experiences of brutal sexual and physical victimization.
Most of these incarcerated mothers have been convicted of a non-violent crime, and most are entering prison for the first time. These heightened rates of incarceration have wreaked havoc on family stability and child well-being as most mothers behind bars were the primary caretakers of their minor children prior to incarceration.
Maternal incarceration wrongly leaves children behind, without recognition of children's fundamental need for their mothers. Unfortunately, incarcerated women and their children are subject to federal and state correctional policies that fail to honor family bonds or recognize the distinct needs of pregnant and parenting women behind bars.
Alternative sentencing to maternal incarceration, however, allows mothers with minor children to be sentenced to community-based facilities. And what is especially needed is the alternative of family-based treatment programs. These are programs that permit mothers and their children to live together while the entire family receives therapeutic treatment to recover from addiction. More than sixty percent of mothers achieve sobriety at the end of the treatment process, and they succeed at stabilizing their families.
It is also more cost effective to support family treatment than to relegate a mother to the criminal justice system and her children to foster care. When family treatment costs are compared to the costs of incarcerating a substance abusing mother and placing her children in foster-care, the savings to the state and nation are significant. For example:
* Family treatment costs on average between $14,000 to $25,000 per family per year depending on the state (for example, in Utah it costs about $14,000 and in New York treatment is approximately $25,000).
* The average cost of one child in the foster care system is $37,000 per year.
* The average cost of state and federal incarceration of a mother is $30,000 per year.
* The Department of Justice (2002) concluded that lifetime costs of caring for drug exposed children range from $750, 000 to $1.4 million per child.
Alternative sentencing to family-based treatment programs promotes best evidence-based outcomes and cost effective approaches for mothers behind bars--and honors the sacred ties between these mothers and their children.
By Malika Saada Saar, Executive Director, The Rebecca Project for Human RightsThere are now more mothers behind bars than at any other point in US history. But... more
Brian Gerrish, Common Purpose, CAFCASS, CPS, DCFS, John Hemming, F4J, M4J, Family Courts, Forced Adoption, Adoption, Foster care, Social worker, Social Services, child abuse, Department of Children Family and SchoolsBrian Gerrish, Common Purpose, CAFCASS, CPS, DCFS, John Hemming, F4J, M4J, Family... more
Brian Gerrish, Common Purpose, CAFCASS, CPS, DCFS, John Hemming, F4J, M4J, Family Courts, Forced Adoption, Adoption, Foster care, Social worker, Social Services, child abuse, Department of Children Family and SchoolsBrian Gerrish, Common Purpose, CAFCASS, CPS, DCFS, John Hemming, F4J, M4J, Family... more
CAFCASS, Common Purpose, CPS, DCFS, John Hemming, Brian Gerrish, Justice families, F4J, M4J, forced adoption, Ian Josephs, child abuse, adoption, social work, social services, Department of Children Family and SchoolsCAFCASS, Common Purpose, CPS, DCFS, John Hemming, Brian Gerrish, Justice families,... more
Brian Gerrish, Common Purpose, CAFCASS, CPS, DCFS, social workers, John Hemming, Justice Familes, F4J, M4J.
Hang your head in shame.Brian Gerrish, Common Purpose, CAFCASS, CPS, DCFS, social workers, John Hemming,... more
Brian Gerrish who outted Common Purpose now tackles Social Services.
CAFCASS, social services, CPS, DCFS, you should hang your head in shame!
Department of Children Family and Schools, DCFS
- Department of Corruption, Fraud and Scandals.Brian Gerrish who outted Common Purpose now tackles Social Services. CAFCASS, social... more