On Sunday, a powerful part 1 of the San Jose Mercury News series “Drugging Our Kids” shed light on the many facets of the overuse of psychotropic (mind-altering) medications with foster kids. In addition to the main article, there were local pieces detailing medication practices in San Bernardino, Los Angeles, and Pasadena. We at the National Center for Youth Law (NCYL) are thankful for the coverage and additional push for legislators to act now as there is much to be done to reign in dangerous prescribing practices and to end the silencing of foster children who are usually medicated and labeled inappropriately for expressing trauma, grief, or frustration with the very real situations in which they are surviving.
Bill Grimm, NCYL’s PsychDrugs Action Campaign senior attorney, will be participating in a live chat Tuesday, August 26th, at noon and attending a meeting of experts on Wednesday August 27th. The expert panelists will discuss proposals and actions for the Department of Social Services and Department of Health Care Services who still haven’t taken action since the kick-off of their “Quality Improvement Project” in October of 2012. We are hoping that others across the state will get involved, tell their stories, listen in to the live chat at noon, attend as concerned audience members the expert panel meeting on August 27th in Sacramento and demand immediate action now by state agencies.
Anna Johnson is a Policy Analyst at the National Center for Youth Law.