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Petition Launched to Prevent Psychotropic Drugging of California’s Foster Care Youth

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By Kelly Patricia O’Meara
February 5, 2015

In response to the current child-drugging tragedy in California’s foster care system, the Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) has launched a petition calling for State legislators and policymakers to enact protections that would provide foster children and youths certain rights relating to being prescribed dangerous psychotropic drugs—especially the right to object to taking such drugs.

Sign the petition here.

The enormity of the drugging was first revealed in a San Jose Mercury News series last year titled, Drugging Our Kids, documenting the massive psychiatric drug use within the state’s foster care to control behavior, the harm these drugs cause and the financial drain on taxpayers.

Sonya Muhammad, a retired counselor with the Los Angeles County Office of Education/Foster Youth Services, knows firsthand the effects of dangerous drugging within California’s foster care system, calling it “a world of chemical doom.” According to Muhammad, “I have seen children become ill and sobbing and frightened of their bodies’ reactions to these drugs.” More

California Lawmakers Set to Tackle Excessive Prescribing of Psych Meds to Foster Children

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San Jose Mercury News
January 31, 2015
By Karen de Sá

California lawmakers will consider a major overhaul this year of how the california-foster-kidsstate cares for thousands of traumatized foster children, a sweeping effort to curb the excessive use of psychiatric drugs in foster care.

Legislation to boost caregiver training, strengthen court oversight of prescriptions and give foster youth the right to alternative treatments is in the works in the Senate to address problems revealed in this newspaper’s yearlong investigation “Drugging Our Kids.”

After years of growing concern — but no action — state Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León said he is “optimistic that oversight will result in overdue reform.”

Psychotropic drug use in foster care is “one of the top issues on the child welfare agenda this session,” said Susanna Kniffen, policy director at the nonprofit Children Now advocacy group.

With a half dozen legislators exploring bills, de León’s staff has been working behind the scenes, attending meetings of a statewide reform group and meeting with advocates and lawmakers considering bills. More