Psychoactive Drugs for Foster Children

From ABC News:

Mind-Altering Psych Drugs for a 7-Year-Old

Not long ago, 7-year-old Brooke was on a medical regimen that might seem extreme, even for an adult: The 43-pound girl was prescribed multiple mind-altering psychotropic drugs.(…)

Foster children are medicated with psychotropic drugs up to 13 times more than other kids. Michael Piraino, the chief executive of the National CASA Association, a foster children’s advocacy group, said that, as a population, foster children tend to be more troubled than their peers.

“If you’ve been hurt the way these kids are, you or I would feel the same way,” he said.

But Piraino said helping the children is not about always trying “to change their brain chemistry.”

“When a doctor tells me that the drug is working, I would ask, ‘Who’s it working for? Is it working for the kid? Is it working for the caretaker? Is it working for the system? It only matters to me whether it’s working for the kid,” he said. “Frankly, we want the doctors and nurses who are prescribing these medicines to look at their behavior and think – and ask this question: ‘Are we doing something wrong here?’ And to the extent that we are, individually or collectively, let’s change that.”

Delaware Sen. Tom Carper held a congressional hearing Thursday, demanding changes in the foster care system.

“In my judgment, no children in this country should be taking at the same time five different kinds of psychotropic drugs,” he said. “None.”

To note: Not one word about the girl’s father, not one word about a father beside the foster mother who is going to adopt her, a world of mothers. But stability comes from the presence of fathers.

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