Posts Tagged ‘Foster Children’

Feds Pay for Drug Fraud

Sunday, May 3rd, 2015

Feds Pay for Drug Fraud

92 Percent of Foster Care, Poor Kids Prescribed Antipsychotics Get Them for Unaccepted Uses
This Huffington Post article on April 30, 2015 exposes the fact that poor and foster care kids covered by Medicaid are being prescribed too many dangerous antipsychotic drugs at young ages for far too long — mostly without any medical justification at all.
“92 percent of all kids on Medicaid receiving antipsychotics don’t have any of the limited ‘medically accepted pediatric conditions’ supposedly justifying their use. These ‘accepted conditions’ include the authority to use antipsychotics even for autistic children as young as 5 for such dubious FDA-approved conditions as ‘irritability.'”

“Medicaid spends about $3.5 billion a year on antipsychotics for all ages, largely for unaccepted uses, with nearly 2 million kids prescribed them. Nationally, about 12 percent of all the nation’s 500,000 foster care children have received Medicaid-paid antipsychotics at some point, often because they haven’t been offered proven, “trauma-informed” intensive therapies, according to Kamala Allen, director of Child Health Quality for the Center for Health Care Strategies.”

“… it shouldn’t be surprising to learn that federal officials aren’t too keen on enforcing drugging protections for either nursing home residents (whose meds are usually paid by Medicare) or children on Medicaid. ‘The federal government has done absolutely nothing of significance to rein in overprescribing,’ says Bill Grimm, a senior counsel with the San Francisco-based National Center for Youth Law (NYCL) that has launched a PsychDrugs Action Campaign, now focused primarily on pending reform bills in the California legislature.”

“… just two months ago, a Philadelphia jury found that Janssen hid the breast-growth dangers of the drug Risperdal and owed $2.5 million to a 20-year-old autistic man who developed size 46 DD breasts as a teenager. ‘This was the first case related to the condition called gynecomastia that went to a jury, but thousands more lawsuits are lined up in Philadelphia, California, Missouri, and other locations,’ The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.”

“… what’s especially absurd … is the notion that federal officials think they’re not allowed to suggest to state Medicaid authorities to stop paying for the unaccepted uses of these and other drugs.”

“As Dr. David Rubin, the director of the Policy Lab at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, told Mental Health Weekly, ‘The medications are being used particularly for disruptive behavior and to control the children.’ Yet nearly half of all kids getting the drugs aren’t getting other behavioral health services such as therapy, according to research by the Center for Health Care Strategies.”

“A shocking five-part series by The San Jose Mercury News, published last year, highlighted dangerous overprescribing that showed that thousands of foster care kids over a decade — nearly one in four foster teens — had been essentially ‘chemically restrained’ for their behavior with antipsychotics drugs that left many drooling, lethargic and obese.”

“Edward Opton, an attorney with the National Center for Youth Law’s PsychDrugs Action Campaign, has underscored why foster care kids are especially vulnerable. Even though they make up just 3 percent of all Medicaid children, they account for roughly 30 percent of all Medicaid behavioral spending for kids: ‘Foster children are a lucrative market for psychotropic drug sales. Unlike adults, they can’t say, “No, I won’t take any more of that drug,”‘ he wrote in a recent column on the Mad in America website.”

You should read the full Huffington Post article, it is most illuminating.

You should also contact your local, state and federal officials and ask them why this Medicaid fraud persists.

Drugging Missouri Foster Children

Saturday, March 21st, 2015

Drugging Missouri Foster Children

 In light of a San Jose Mercury News investigation “Drugging Our Kids” exposing the massive psychotropic drugging of children under California’s foster care system, which found nearly 25% of adolescents in California’s foster care system are prescribed mind-altering psychotropic drugs, lawmakers are now understanding the urgency of legislation to curb this abusive practice.

More than 30 percent of Missouri’s foster children take psychotropic drugs, even beating California, and most of the drugs are approved only for children with severe mental problems, according to Columbia Missourian news.

Often neglected and abused, foster children are one of Missouri’s most vulnerable populations. But “experts” say the state cannot always give children the emotional support they need. Instead, their problems are dealt with another way — by prescribing harmful and addictive psychiatric drugs.

Nationally, 18 percent of foster children are given psychotropic drugs. In Missouri, it’s nearly twice that amount.

The overprescription of psychoactive drugs to foster children is alarming. Well over 5,000 Missouri foster children are taking psychiatric drugs. At least 20 percent were taking an average of two or more psychiatric drugs. Missouri spent more than $81 million on psychiatric drugs for foster children in the last five years. Antipsychotics account for more than half of the state’s spending on psychiatric medication for foster children.

In Missouri, prescription records indicate that foster children as young as 2 have been given antipsychotics.

Sign CCHR’s Petition to Prevent the Dangerous Psychotropic Drugging of California’s Foster Care Youth here.

Contact your state legislators and let them know what you think about this; urge them to do something about drugging our most vulnerable children with harmful and addictive psychotropic drugs. Find your Missouri legislators here.

Texas Foster Children Health Care News

Sunday, July 27th, 2014

Texas Foster Children Health Care News

Legislation signed by the Governor of Texas and effective starting 9/1/2013 provides expanded safeguards for foster children in Texas regarding their health care.

HB 915 (House Bill 915) should be taken strongly to heart by all state legislatures.

Here are some of the important points safeguarding foster children from dangerous psychotropic drugs. We have paraphrased the legalese to make it easier to read. The actual bill text can be found here.

Duties required by a guardian ad litem appointed for a child include reviewing the medical care provided to the child, and in a developmentally appropriate manner, elicit the child’s opinion on the medical care provided. For a child at least 16 years of age, advise the child of the child’s right to request the court to authorize the child to consent to the child’s own medical care.

For a child receiving psychotropic medication, determine whether the child has been provided appropriate psychosocial therapies, behavior strategies, and other non-pharmacological intervention, and has been seen by the prescribing physician, physician assistant, or advanced practice nurse at least once every 90 days.

For a youth taking prescription medication, the department shall ensure that the youth’s transition plan includes provisions to assist the youth in managing the use of the medication and in managing the child’s long-term physical and mental health needs after leaving foster care, including provisions that inform the youth about the use of the medication, the resources that are available to assist the youth in managing the use of the medication, and informed consent and the provision of medical care.

A person may not be authorized to consent to medical care provided to a foster child unless the person has completed a department-approved training program related to informed consent. The training required must include training related to informed consent for the administration of psychotropic medication and the appropriate use of psychosocial therapies, behavior strategies, and other non-pharmacological interventions that should be considered before or concurrently with the administration of psychotropic medications.

Consent to the administration of a psychotropic medication is  valid only if the consent is given voluntarily and without undue influence, and the person authorized by law to consent for the foster child receives verbally or in writing information that describes the specific condition to be treated, the beneficial effects on that condition expected from the medication, the probable health and mental health consequences of not consenting to the medication, the probable clinically significant side effects and risks associated with the medication, and the generally accepted alternative medications and non-pharmacological interventions to the medication, if any, and the reasons for the proposed course of treatment.

The department shall notify the child’s parents of the initial prescription of a psychotropic medication to a foster child and of any change in dosage of the psychotropic medication at the first scheduled meeting between the parents and the child’s caseworker after the date the psychotropic medication is prescribed or the dosage is changed.

The person authorized to consent to medical treatment for a foster child prescribed a psychotropic medication shall ensure that the child has been seen by the prescribing physician, physician assistant, or advanced practice nurse at least once every 90 days to allow the physician, physician assistant, or advanced practice nurse to appropriately monitor the side effects of the medication, and determine whether the medication is helping the child achieve the treatment goals, and continued use of the medication is appropriate.

Note the emphasis on Informed Consent. Click here for more information about Informed Consent.

The real problem is that psychiatrists fraudulently diagnose life’s problems as an “illness”, and stigmatize unwanted behavior or study problems as “diseases.” Psychiatry’s stigmatizing labels, programs and treatments are harmful junk science; their diagnoses of “mental disorders” are a hoax — unscientific, fraudulent and harmful. All psychiatric treatments, not just psychiatric drugs, are dangerous.

Contact your own state legislators and suggest that they review this Texas legislation and additional information about Informed Consent so that they may compare it to existing state laws on the matter and provide needed protections for children under state care. In Missouri, visit here to find your legislators.


U.S. Probes Psych Drugs on Kids

Sunday, September 8th, 2013

U.S. Probes Psych Drugs on Kids

The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) carried this report August 11, “U.S. Probes Use of Antipsychotic Drugs on Children,” sub-titled “Federal health officials are reviewing antipsychotic drug use on children in the Medicaid system.”

Concerned that psych drugs are being over-prescribed to very young children, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is reviewing antipsychotic use in the Medicaid system for children under 18 years old. These drugs include Abilify, which is widely prescribed to children for a range of behavioral symptoms. Other drugs in this category include Risperdal, Seroquel, and Zyprexa.

The DHHS has this to say specifically about this review: “We will determine the extent to which children ages 18 and younger had Medicaid claims for atypical antipsychotic drugs during the selected timeframe. On the basis of medical record reviews, we will also determine the extent to which the atypical antipsychotic drug claims were for off-label uses and for indications not listed in one or more of the approved drug compendia.”

Quotes from the WSJ article: “Medicaid spends more on antipsychotics than on any other class of drugs. Abilify, made by Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., appears on lists of the top 10 drugs paid for by Medicaid in various states.”

“The number of people under age 20 receiving Medicaid-funded prescriptions for antipsychotic drugs tripled between 1999 and 2008.”

“Children on Medicaid are prescribed antipsychotics at four times the rate of privately insured children.”

“Of particular concern is use of the drugs on foster children in the Medicaid system.”

Contact Daniel R. Levinson, Inspector General, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, at, and let him know what you think about the psychiatric drugging of children with harmful and addictive antipsychotics.

Abilify and other antipsychotic drugs have caused a potentially fatal condition called neuroleptic malignant syndrome. Patients who develop this may have high fevers, muscle rigidity, altered mental status, irregular pulse or blood pressure, rapid heart rate, excessive sweating, and heart arrhythmias (irregularities). Body temperature regulation—disruption of the body’s ability to reduce core body temperature—has been attributed to antipsychotic agents such as Abilify.

According to the U.S. consumer advocacy group Public Citizen after reviewing information about clinical trials of Abilify, “…nothing in these five trials can lead one to believe that aripiprazole (Abilify) is a meaningful advancement in the treatment of schizophrenia.”

Of course, we recognize that the real problem is that psychiatrists fraudulently diagnose life’s problems as an “illness”, and stigmatize unwanted behavior as “diseases.” Psychiatry’s stigmatizing labels, programs and treatments are harmful junk science; their diagnoses of “mental disorders” are a hoax — unscientific, fraudulent and harmful. All psychiatric treatments, not just psychiatric drugs, are dangerous.

It is vital that you, your family, your friends and associates, watch the video documentary “Making A Killing — The Untold Story of Psychotropic Drugging”. Containing more than 175 interviews with lawyers, mental health experts, the families of psychiatric abuse victims and the survivors themselves. This riveting documentary rips the mask off psychotropic drugging and exposes a brutal but well-entrenched money-making machine. The facts are hard to believe, but fatal to ignore. Watch the video online here. Forward this newsletter to everyone you know and recommend that they watch this video.

The Child Protection Racket

Friday, June 28th, 2013

The Child Protection Racket

Child welfare in the state of Missouri comes under the state government’s Executive branch, Department of Social Services (DSS). The Missouri Constitution Article IV Section 37 states the guiding principle of the Department of Social Services quite simply as:

“The health and general welfare of the people are matters of primary public concern; and to secure them there shall be established a department of social services in charge of a director appointed by the governor, by and with the advice and consent of the senate, charged with promoting improved health and other social services to the citizens of the state as provided by law, and the general assembly may grant power with respect thereto to counties, cities or other political subdivisions of the state.”

One presumes that no one has any argument with the general statement of support for the health and welfare of Missouri citizens.

The Revised Statutes of Missouri (RSMo), the governing laws of the state, further define child welfare in Chapter 1 Section 1.092 as:

“The child welfare policy of this state is what is in the best interests of the child.”

The state’s child welfare services are concentrated in the Division of Family Services (DFS) in the Department of Social Services. Operating instructions for DFS are specified in RSMo Chapter 210 Section 210.109:

“The child protection system shall promote the safety of children and the integrity and preservation of their families by conducting investigations or family assessments and providing services in response to reports of child abuse or neglect. The system shall coordinate community resources and provide assistance or services to children and families identified to be at risk, and to prevent and remedy child abuse and neglect.”

One presumes that no one has any argument with the general statement of support for the health and welfare of Missouri children.

RSMo Chapter 630 Section 630.097 further authorizes the Department of Mental Health (DMH) to establish a “unified accountable comprehensive children’s mental health service system” providing “annual reports that include progress toward outcomes, monitoring, changes in populations and services, and emerging issues.” The strategic plan developed as a result of this legislation can be found here. The 2012 Annual Report for this effort can be found here.

There are no statistics about outcomes in this latest annual report. In fact, the report only discusses the establishment and activities of various committees, web sites, conferences, meetings, workshops, funding, training, newsletters — in short, nary a single word about accountable positive outcomes that improve the actual health and welfare of children.

An argument could be made that “improved health” and “best interests of the child” have not been genuine concerns of the state for its citizens and particularly for its children. The DSS, the DFS, and the DMH have all lost their way and abandoned their original purpose.

Instead we have these:

RSMo Chapter 208 Section 208.227 specifically allows for the availability of psychotropic drugs for seniors and children.

RSMo Chapter 208 Section 208.152 guarantees payments by MO HealthNet (the state Medicaid program) to provide mental health services.

RSMo Chapter 211 Section 211.161 allows juvenile courts to “cause any child or person seventeen years of age within its jurisdiction to be examined by a physician, psychiatrist or psychologist appointed by the court.”

To be fair, there is the occasional protection. For example, RSMo Chapter 632 Section 070 allows for the parents or legal custodians of any minors referred to DFS to consent to the mental health treatment of their children, and they must be advised that they have the right to consult their regular physicians before giving their consent to any treatment.

Are these protections enough? Judging from the number of cases brought to CCHR’s attention about children being taken away by DFS when the parents refuse to give psychiatric drugs to their children, we don’t think so.

Child Psychiatry is Child Abuse

The greatest threat of psychiatry is its targeting of the young, for in doing so, it threatens to destroy our future leaders. The drugging of children is a multbillion dollar business that grows larger every day. Psychiatrists expand their funding sources with an endless supply of fraudulent labels for normal childhood behavior.

No child should be compelled to receive brain-damaging “treatment” of any kind. No parent should be coerced into agreeing that, in order to retain custody of their child, they must consent to fraudulent, harmful and abusive psychiatric “care.”

If you become aware of the abusive treatment of children by the Missouri DSS, DFS, or DMH, notify the Office of Child Advocate: 866-457-2302,, or fill out and send in a complaint form.

Missouri HB 1987 TAKE ACTION

Saturday, March 31st, 2012

We are delighted to report that Missouri State Representative Mike Leara (Republican, District 095 – Sunset Hills, Crestwood, Fenton and Grantwood Village in St. Louis County) introduced House Bill 1987 with the stated purpose to establish requirements for parental consent for mental health screenings in school and the use of psychotropic medications with children in the custody of the Department of Social Services.

The full text of the bill can be read here. Here are some pertinent quotes:

“The use of educational settings to screen children and adolescents for mental disorders has led to parents not being given sufficient information about the purpose of such screenings, the ramifications if they consent, such as mandatory psychological or psychiatric treatment for their child and family, thereby violating the recognized requirements and standards regarding full informed consent.”

“Based on the subjective nature of the mental health diagnostic system and mental health screenings, millions of children are prescribed antidepressants or stimulants recognized by leading drug regulatory agencies as causing suicidal behavior, suicide, violence, hostility and in the case of stimulants, the potential for strokes and heart attacks.”

“The department of elementary and secondary education shall prohibit the use of schools for any mental health or psychological screening or testing of any student, whether a nonemancipated minor or emancipated minor without the express written consent of the parent or guardian.”

“On or before January 1, 2013, the department of social services shall promulgate rules or amend any current rules to establish and maintain standards and procedures to govern the administration of psychotropic medications.”


This is a particularly valuable piece of legislation as it reflects the growing awareness and concern of parents about the harm done to their children by mental health screenings and psychotropic drugs in schools, and the indiscriminate administration of harmful and addictive psychotropic drugs to children in the foster care system.


Please thank Representative Leara for his efforts and let Representative Leara know that you support this legislation, and write your own Missouri State Representative urging them to bring it through Committee and to a vote on the floor.

If you do not live in Missouri, then forward this proposed legislation to your own state representatives and urge them to sponsor and enact similar legislation.


For more information about the harm caused by mental health screenings and psychotropic drugs, visit the CCHR STL web site.

12-Year-Old Testifies in U.S. Senate Hearing About Psych Drugs

Thursday, January 12th, 2012

12-year-old foster child, Ke’onte Cook, testifies in U.S.
Senate hearing about his experience with psych drugs

The Financial and Societal Costs of Medicating America’s Foster Children

Subcommittee on Federal Financial Management, Government Information, Federal Services, and International Security

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Watch the video on PsychNews.

Ke’onte says, “About a year after I was adopted I found out I was on twenty different drugs total, and sometimes I took up to five drugs at one time. … Some of the things I was diagnosed with were Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Insomnia, ADHD, Depression. … I had side effects no one told me about … I think putting me on all these stupid meds was the most
idiotic thing I’ve ever experienced in foster care and was the worst thing someone could do to foster kids.”

For more information:

* CCHR Watchdog Radio podcast “Protecting Foster Children from Psychiatric Drugs“.

* ABC News Reports Shocking Use of Psychiatric Drugs With Foster Children.

* “The Psychiatric Drugging of America’s Foster Children” by Peter Breggin.

ABC News 20/20 Blasts Child Drugging

Sunday, December 4th, 2011

As reported on ABC News, “A 12-year-old boy told Congress today that he was medicated into a near-stupor with mind-altering drugs during the four years he bounced among foster care homes.”

A Government Accountability Office (GAO) report found that the federal government had not done enough to oversee the treatment of foster children with powerful drugs. The report, whose contents were revealed by ABC News on November 30, coincided with a nationwide ABC investigation on the overuse of the most potent mind-altering drugs on many of the country’s nearly 425,000 foster children.

The report found that drug amounts exceeding maximum doses for a child’s age were many times more likely to be prescribed to foster children than to other children in the federal-state program for lower-income people. The GAO, which submitted its findings as part of a Senate hearing, also found that foster children were several times more likely than other Medicaid youngsters to be taking five or more psychotropic drugs at the same time. Among the drugs analyzed were antipsychotics such as Abilify and Risperdal, antidepressants such as Cymbalta and Paxil, and attention-deficit hyperactivity-disorder drugs such as Ritalin and Strattera. [Fox News]

Quoting from the GAO report, “no evidence supports the concomitant use of five or more psychotropic drugs in adults or children, yet hundreds of both foster and nonfoster children in the five states had such a drug regimen. Similarly, thousands of foster and nonfoster children were prescribed doses higher than the maximum levels cited in guidelines developed by Texas based on FDA-approved labels, which GAO’s experts said increases the risk of adverse side effects and does not typically increase the efficacy of the drugs to any significant extent. Further, foster and nonfoster children under 1 year old were prescribed psychotropic drugs, which GAO’s experts said have no established use for mental health conditions in infants; providing them these drugs could result in serious adverse effects.”

ABC News 20/20 aired three episodes exposing the fact that doctors are putting foster children on harmful, mind-altering drugs at rates up to 13 times that of children in the general population.

Watch all the 20/20 episodes on PsychSearch.Net.