DCF Panel Reviews Mental Health Policies


Joan Murray Reporting

FORT LAUDERDALE (CBS4 I-TEAM) A task force investigating the tragic death of 7-year-old foster child Gabriel Myers met for the third time in Fort Lauderdale Thursday.

They heard powerful testimony from two former foster children about medication and treatment in the system.

Gabriel Myers had been living with a foster family in Margate for a few weeks when he hanged himself in April. It was later revealed that he was prescribed psychotropic drugs.

The task force is reviewing all children currently taking medications and at Thursday’s meeting they revealed a lack of coordination between various caretakers within the foster child system.

“There isn’t a single person playing the parental role and we need good communication between all parties playing the parental role,” said Dr. Rajiv Tandon a psychiatrist and task force member.

Former foster child Mez Pierre said he was first prescribed various medications when he was only five years old because he was considered a problem child.

“Just to know care , love and nurturing. Just imagine if Gabriel had gotten that, we wouldn’t be here today.” Pierre says he eventually found a mentor who helped him figure things out. Now he is a 22-year-old college student.

Former foster child Kim Foster also gave testimony to the task force. She was also given powerful drugs beginning at age 8. She says medication isn’t the answer for all children and other interventions should be considered.
She also criticized the business nature of the foster care system because foster parents receive payment for their services.

“You’re hiring people to be parents and you don’t get a lot of parenting out of it,” she said.

The group will meet again on July 6th in Tallahassee.

1 Comment

Filed under CBS 4 - WFOR

One response to “DCF Panel Reviews Mental Health Policies

  1. Sally Hindley

    Thank you so much for reporting on this important subject. My two grandchildren were kidnapped by child services in Stark County Ohio and placed with a drug addicted foster woman. NO ONE would listen to us about the foster woman drugging my grandson for no reason whatsoever. It took twelve years to get the children out of that deplorable situation and back with Dad, who never once had any charges filed against him.
    This is happening all over the country. Child services runs on insanity. It is SO insane that no one believes such a mind-bending travesty can happen in this country……until it happens to them!
    Sally Hindley

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