Friday, December 7, 2012

Foster Children and Psychotropic Drugs

This ABC report on 20/20 (link below) demonstrates many of the challenges for children in foster care, focusing primarily on the use (or overuse) of psychotropic medications for children in foster care.

This certainly does not mean that all psychotropic medications are bad. Sometimes psychotropic medications help tremendously. Sometimes they are the only intervention that stabilizes a child enough to be taught in school, or to gain invaluable insight in therapy. But this report does a good job of exposing the potential dangers of prescribing numerous psychotropic medications to children in an effort, as one foster child once told me, “to turn me into a robot for their benefit.”

This video is 30 minutes long, and if you watch to the end you will also see the positive side of foster care: those parents who provide permanent, unconditional acceptance even as the child’s behaviors present tremendous challenges. Unfortunately, only about 1 in 10 children who are put up for adoption end up receiving this permanent, unconditional acceptance that they so desperately need. And deserve.

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