Last Updated on September 28, 2022
A recent study in the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology discovered that California foster care kids are being medicated with powerful psychotropic drugs, but the adults in charge of the children are not taking the appropriate steps to ensure that the drugs are safe for the kids. Currently, the Child Protective Services (CPS) system, which feeds young children to foster care, is under massive scrutiny nationwide.
The study, entitled “Antipsychotics in the California Foster Care System: A 10-Year Analysis,” found that drugging of foster kids supposedly became less frequent over the course of a decade in California. However, the system continues to use extremely “concerning” methods to medicate the kids with little regard for their safety from side effects. According to our recent NATIONAL FILE article “Exposed: Dead Children in the CPS System Near Bohemian Grove And Pelosi’s Pedophilia Links,” a teenager named Steven Gavin Unangst Jr. died in the Contra Costa County foster care system after taking prescription drugs, prompting his family to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the county.
The study states: “Psychotropic medications are defined as having a primary intended effect on the central nervous system. Among these, antipsychotic medications stand out because of their significant metabolic side effects, including weight gain and predisposition to diabetes mellitus type 2…The risk–benefit ratio for the use of antipsychotics may not be in the best interest of foster youth, particularly when other trauma informed multidisciplinary interventions, such as psychotherapy, may be more effective but are frequently inaccessible to this population…Additional ethical problems may exist when a foster child’s autonomy to decide is compromised by arrangements where housing is dependent on continued medication use…Media reports in California suggested that acceptance and adherence to such medications was used as a condition for continued housing…”
The study states: “Of the 7172 children who received psychotropic medications in 2020, only 5581 (77.8%) had the necessary TAR forms. In addition, of the 1764 children receiving antipsychotics, only 904 (51.2%) underwent appropriate metabolic screening. When considering the youth newly prescribed with antipsychotics, only 150/811 (18.5%) received screening, a decrease in performance compared with 2017 (239/913 screened youth; 26.2%).”
“The most concerning findings from this analysis are related to the proper authorization for using psychotropics and rates of metabolic screening. A significant proportion (22.2%) of California foster youth received psychotropics in 2020 without the necessary authorization incorporated in the CQIP policies. Stricter regulations could further reduce prescription rates, ensure safety, and respect autonomy and decision-making principles,” the study stated.
“Less than half of the California foster youth on antipsychotic medications received screening for metabolic disorders in 2020. When focusing on the youth with recent prescriptions, <20% received screening. The performance for both the overall and the newly prescribed groups was lower versus data from 2017 and reflects poor adherence to surveillance protocols. We acknowledge that these performance data correlate with structural challenges in public work, such as understaffing of teams, increasing caseworkloads per provider, and the national shortage of children and adolescent psychiatrists and other behavioral specialists,” the study stated.
In our documentary Save the Babies: A Documentary on CPS Child Trafficking, we reported on the epidemic of at-risk foster kids being heavily drugged. In one interview that we showed in the film, a young man described his experiences in Oregon living on a cocktail of medications during his years in the Oregon foster care system after CPS took him into custody.
Stay tuned to National File for any updates.