Indiscriminate Use of Psychotropics Among Children in Foster Care is a National Disgrace

Samantha Bartosz – Deputy Director of Litigation, Children’s Rights

I recently sat in a courtroom in Kansas City and listened to a foster mom, a grandfather, and a birth mother all speak with great emotion about the harm done to children they love. They had come to testify before the final hearing in the first federal class-action lawsuit to focus solely on the widespread and often dangerous use of psychotropic medications among youth in foster care.

But the words that I found most sobering were those of a young woman who had spent her teen years in the Missouri foster care system and had lived the experience. She was put on daily doses of multiple drugs that caused confusion, hallucinations and myriad health problems. She gained nearly 100 pounds in the course of a few months. She felt betrayed by the very system charged with keeping her safe.

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