Karen de Sa


Costa’s Defense of Residential Treatment Left Someone Out

In his response to reporter Karen de Sá’s searing expose of the misuse and overuse of psychiatric medication on foster children in general and one case from his own institution in particular, Joseph Costa, CEO of Hillsides, serves up all the usual buzzwords and boilerplate.


Top California Child Welfare Reporters Find Opportunity in the Bay

Two award-winning California journalists focused on child welfare recently ended long-term stints with newspapers in order to work for news outlets where they will have the resources necessary to do in-depth, investigative reporting on vulnerable children.


In Response to Karen de Sá’s Article in The San Jose Mercury News

The trauma that children and youth in foster care experience is a serious issue which deserves not only our attention, but our concerted action to eliminate it. A recent article in the San Jose Mercury News (SJMN) suggests that Hillsides and a consulting psychiatrist contributed to this trauma after psychotropic medication was prescribed to a former resident who was discharged from our care eight years ago.

Rochelle Trochtenberg


Former Foster Youth Leads California Ombudsperson Office

At the end of March, Rochelle Trochtenberg began her new job as California’s new foster care ombudsperson, the first time a former foster youth has held the post. The Office of the Foster Care Ombudsman investigates and resolves complaints on behalf of foster youth.


Brown Signs Bills to Curb Overmedication of Calif. Foster Youth

More than a year after a landmark San Jose Mercury News investigation exposed the impact of the over-prescription of mind-altering drugs given to foster youth, Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday signed a package of bills into law that would place limits on those practices.

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Live from JDAI: Day One of Juvenile Justice Conference Week

Greetings from Phoenix! Youth Services Insider, your faithful provider of industry news at The Imprint, is on the road this week reporting from both of the big annual juvenile justice conferences.


    “Drugging Our Kids” Wins Another Journalism Award

    The multimedia series “Drugging Our Kids,” published by the San Jose Mercury News, won the Edward R. Murrow Award for an online news video documentary by a large online organization last week.


    Investigative Journalist Says Foster Youth Voice ‘Absolutely Vital’

    In this Q&A, I interview San Jose Mercury News Investigative Reporter Karen de Sá about her explosive series on the psychotropic “drugging” of foster youth. De Sá  wrangled with gargantuan California state bureaucracies to access data that tells a startling story of the foster care system’s over-reliance on psychotropic drugs.


    Psych Meds and Foster Youth: Alameda County California Takes on a National Issue

    On September 29, around 50 foster youth advocates and mental health professionals crowded into a conference room in Alameda County California’s Behavioral Health Care Services (BHCS) building to discuss the steps the county can take to reduce the overmedication of children in foster care.