DCF Panel To Review Mental Health Policies

CBS4
Jasmine Kripalani Reporting
FORT LAUDERDALE (CBS4) ―

After a child in foster care hanged himself to death, officials from the Department of Children & Families met with child advocates to talk about ways to prevent another suicide.

DCF Secretary George Sheldon created the panel to investigate the death of 7-year-old Gabriel Myers who hanged himself in the bathroom of his Margate home where he lived with his foster parents.

The group was scheduled to meet in Fort Lauderdale and included expert comments from a medical director in Massachusetts, according to CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald.

Two adults who spent time in the foster care system are also scheduled to speak.

Gabriel had been prescribed psychiatric drugs including anti-depressants. His case prompted DCF officials to reevaluate its mental health policy.

A state review revealed certain policies and procedures set in place to protect children were ultimately ignored. In some cases, caseworkers did not seek another opinion from a psychiatrist when children 6 and younger were prescribed drugs to treat mental illnesses.

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

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