Study: 13 percent of children in DCF custody on medication

News Press, Fort Myers, Florida

More than 13 percent of children in Department of Children and Families custody are taking one or more psychotropic, or mind-altering drugs, according to a review released today.

The Children’s Network of Southwest Florida counted 9 percent of its total population taking the drugs, among which some are largely unproven for children, expert says.

DCF conducted the review in response to the suicide of Gabriel Myers, a 7-year-old foster child in Fort Lauderdale. In its review of the case, the department found that it had not obtained valid consent as required by law.

The report found no record of parental consent or judicial order authorizing the medication in 16 percent of the almost 2,700 children receiving such medications.

In Southwest Florida, there was no consent obtained in 19 percent of the 111 children with active prescriptions.

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