More Florida foster children take psychiatric medications than previously thought

St. Petersburg Times
Kris Hundley, Times Staff Writer
Files show lack of consent for prescriptions

Nearly 400 more foster kids are on psychotropic drugs than was believed a week ago, as the Department of Children and Families continues to review children’s files. An updated database, which will be released today, will show that 3,068, or about 15 percent of children in the DCF’s out-of-home care, have been prescribed the psychiatric medications. Of that group, 14 percent were given the drugs without either the parental or court consent required by law. Even in cases where parental consent is on file, DCF Secretary George Sheldon said there are concerns whether parents were aware of potential side effects or spoke with the physician. The DCF is reviewing all psychotropic prescriptions following the April suicide of 7-year-old Gabriel Myers, a foster child in South Florida who was on two psychotropic medications.

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