May 28, 2009
TALLAHASSEE — A new study from the Florida Department of Children and Families showed proper authorization was
not obtained for 16 percent of Florida foster children who take anti-depressants and psychotropic drugs.
The study was
ordered after a 7-year-old boy committed suicide in Margate this year.

State records did not show the drugs he had been prescribed. The records also showed required consent had not been obtained from the
boy’s parents or a judge.

The report showed that a total of 2,699, or 13.2 percent, of Florida children in out-of-home care have been prescribed at least one
psychotropic medications. 59 percent of those children are between the ages of 13 and 17 years old.

73 children, or roughly 2.8 percent, who have been given psychotropic drugs are under the age of 5.

State records also showed that for 16.2 percent of the 2,669 children receiving psychotropic medicines, there was no authorization
obtained.

DCF said it will be strengthening its reviewing of medications, conducting a weekly conference call about psychotropic meds, and other
measures to better protect the children in foster care who receive psychotropic medications.

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Fla. Foster Children On Psych. Meds
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