SUBCOMMITTEE ON INCOME SECURITY AND FAMILY SUPPORT
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 01, 2008
ISFS-16 CONTACT: (202) 225-1025
McDermott Announces Hearing on the
Utilization of Psychotropic Medication
for Children in Foster Care
Congressman Jim McDermott (D-WA),
Chairman of the Subcommittee on Income Security and Family Support, today announced a hearing to examine the use of psychotropic drugs for children in the foster care system.
The hearing will take place on Thursday, May 8, 2008, at 10:00 a.m. in room B-318 Rayburn House Office Building.
In view of the limited time available to hear witnesses, oral testimony at this hearing will be from invited witnesses only. However, any individual or organization not scheduled for an oral appearance may submit a written statement for consideration by the subcommittee and for inclusion in the printed record of the hearing.
Psychotropic medications have been increasingly prescribed for children in recent years, but the use of these drugs appears to be particularly elevated for children in foster care.
One recent study found that psychotropic drug treatment was three or four times more common for youth in foster care than for other children receiving health care services through the Medicaid program.
Additionally, children in foster care are often prescribed multiple psychotropic medications, and sometimes these drugs are used for off-label purposes (i.e., meaning their effects have not been demonstrated in children).
These medicines are most commonly used to treat depression, anxiety and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.
While the trauma associated with coming into foster care may increase some children’s need for certain prescription drugs, the high rate of use of psychotropic medications in foster care has raised concerns regarding the monitoring of these drugs and whether a continuum of treatment services is being provided to these children beyond medication.
It appears only a minority of States have established methods to formally regulate the use and administration of these medications among children in their care.
In announcing the hearing, Chairman McDermott stated, “Some children in foster care may need and benefit from psychotropic medication.
But these drugs should not be used as a shortcut to treat foster children when more effective treatments, including counseling, might provide long-term benefits.
We need to carefully oversee the prescription of these medicines, especially when it comes to placing foster children on multiple drugs or prescribing medication for off-label use.”
FOCUS OF THE HEARING:
The hearing will examine the use of prescription psychotropic drugs among children in the foster care system.
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We ARE being heard, below is a letter I submitted to The Ways and Means on Federal Funding being abused by child protective services, which included serious concerns for children over medicated in general, including foster care.
Ladies and Gentlemen of the Ways & Means Committee:
Thank you for understanding and addressing, the current issues within the child protective services industry.
The abuse of Federal Funding Title IV D and E has had detrimental effects on America‘s future.
The way the current system is set up, requires States to keep increasing the number of children they protect. This has led the states to manufacturing abused children, in order to obtain the generous federal funds. In 1974 Walter Mondale, warned us of the potential abuses of this bill being passed, his warnings have proven true. #
The States, the attorneys, the service providers, the mental health specialists, the special interest groups and the pharmaceutical companies have made millions/billions of dollars from our families’ emotional health because the child protection and divorce financial industries have abused their power and psychologically destroyed the very foundation needed for the future, functional families. Once in foster care, children are diagnosed with a mental disorder without any objective physical or medical tests.#
This abuse of American citizens needs to be stopped. Millions of families have been destroyed; the future of America has been put in jeopardy. Are we still in America?
Pharmaceutical companies have profited two-fold obtaining profits from these children as well as their parents, as our future (our children) are ripped from loving families, emotionally destroyed, brainwashed into believing either their parent's abused them or didn't want them, labeled as special needs for a higher residual payment within the child abuse industry. # Those with the power to change the status quo have turned a blind eye. These children and their parents are then numbed, coerced, and forced into compliance. While parents are under the threats of permanent loss of their children by termination of their parental rights for failure to comply with the demands under the guise of services provided.
Real abused children are being left to die, such as Nixzmary Brown, while children like mine and millions of other innocent children are ripped from our homes where they were never abused. Is it possible that the reason that Nixzmary was left to die, was that her family earned too much money for the child protection industry to remove her? Alternatively, was it that the "child protection" industry was preoccupied ripping children from innocent poor parents, to even care that Nixzmary was slowly being beaten and starved to death? A half-dozen employees at the Administration for Children's Services were suspended or disciplined for inadequate responses to reports of problems with Nixzmary Brown, said agency chief John Mattingly#
There are millions of non-abused children torn from their loving families or one of their loving parents, only to face being truly abused and raped while they are in the foster care system. #
When and if they are lucky enough to live through it all, they are then thrown out onto the street without an education, or being prepared with life skills with no hope for a future once the money stops. #
These children will become your future inmates and wards of the state. Is this massive abuse of power now, job security for the coming generations?
Children of Divorce are being emotionally abused and alienated by dysfunctional parents due to the federal funding in place for one parent to benefit from making false allegations to win custody, in an effort to stay in the child's life. Then the children with only one parent left to care for them, are ripe for the picking within the child protection service industry. #
Has anyone considered the amount of lawsuits, present and future that will be a direct result from this abuse of power? # My Malicious Prosecution lawsuit included.
Has anyone on this committee considered that one of these systematically abused and drugged children will inevitably be exposed to one of their children/grandchildren? #
Redirecting the federal funding, from legally kidnapping children out of good homes, to offering services to alleged abused children's families is not enough. That will only change the focus, from legally kidnapping children to stalking innocent families with unwarranted and unwanted services.
There needs to be a better system in place, and after listening to hundreds of parents, I am prepared to give you their collective suggestions for a good start. Accountability on all levels!
(1) The numbers of abused children must be decreased back down to where the numbers were before the laws put into place began to be used as incentives in order for States to receive these funds. This will alleviate the amount of non-abused children in the system.
(2) The level of proof and the jurisdiction from Family Courts to Criminal Courts needs to be changed, in child abuse cases. The law needs to be changed from clear and convincing to beyond a reasonable doubt, the highest level of proof. Not beyond any doubt, but such that if it could reasonably have an alternative answer, the only result must be not guilty. This will alleviate the case workers from legally kidnapping children based on nothing more than lies and/or false accusations/allegations. This will also alleviate the amount of non-abused children in the system.
(3) False allegations of abuse (Domestic Violence or Child Abuse) that cannot, nor will result in a conviction of the alleged abuser, need to become a felony in every state. This will alleviate the amount of non-abused children and falsely labeled abusive adults in the system.
(4) Anonymous calls to the State child abuse hot lines need to be changed, and replaced .Callers must leave a name for accountability while still protected if the call is in good faith by a guarantee of anonymity. If a child is being abused and the caller is confident their name will be confidential, real child abuse will still be called into the hotlines. If this is implicated with false allegations becoming a felony, together that will ensure that only real abused children will be known to the system. This will alleviate non-abused children and their families from falsely becoming part of the system, and will remove the temptations and rewards for an angry abusive spouse, family member, neighbor, co-worker or other making vindictive calls where there is no abuse.
(5) Shared parenting, for fit parents where there has been no conviction of Domestic Violence or child abuse needs be the protocol with severe penalties to either parent that emotionally abuses (aka parent alienation) the children to get back at the other parent.
(6) The Standards of abuse must be clearly redefined. Parent’s that cannot afford a bed or a kitchen table are not abusive they are in need. Children have become disrespectful and out of control, they have been taught that they can do what they want, because their parents are no longer allowed to discipline them. Unruly children that live without fear of a slap on the backside will be the children on psychotropic drugs before they reach Jr. High School. Psychotropic drugs are poisoning our children’s internal organs and sending them out to kill.#
Our children need to know they can be disciplined without the threat to the parent of child protective services intervention. Unfortunately, the current child protective service in place does more harm to our children than they would ever suffer at home.
The suggestions above would not in any way fix all of the problems but at least it is a beginning.
I speak from personal experience, as well as that of a child advocate.
In my personal situation, my family was torn apart in 2001, by a vindictive abusive, politically connected husband. My children were legally kidnapped from me and I have not had as much as a phone call with them since.
My estranged husband Mr. Argenziano was successful in his legal kidnapping of my children via a false child abuse claim in 2001, which was over turned in 2006. I firmly believe his political connections aided him in his mission to destroy me.
The over turned ACS case is the basis of my Malicious Prosecution lawsuit, yet I have had no contact with my children to date. Two of which have aged out of the system.
Mr. Argenziano has been an umpire for the CYO (catholic charities) for at least 20 years where he worked under CYO director Mr. Joseph Panepinto. Mr. Joseph Panepinto, through the catholic charities financial partnership with The Administration of Child Services is aware of how the child protective services industry in their quest for protecting children they can and will destroy a family.
Mr. Joseph Panepinto is married to Supreme Court Judge Barbara Panepinto.
Coincidentally, Mr. Argenziano is living with Aggie Panepinto, an alleged (in writing by an innocent third party) child pornographer.
My case is one of three that I am personally aware of, that are politically connected legal kidnappings in NYC that were procured by the current abuses upon families by the child protection services industry, fueled by federal funding.
“In most instances the authorities, when informed about some unusually close judges-lawyers ties, invariably happened to suffer from sudden bouts of incurable willful blindness caused by the terrifying awareness that any inquiry could expose more dirt than they would be willing to swallow.
This is exactly what is going on in the aforementioned notorious Massachusetts case known to, and misinterpreted by, every lawyer, judge, court clerk, paralegal, and policeman in Essex County and beyond. The case is a classic example of the staged litigation scheme brought to the extreme. It is not a "complicated family dispute," as the perpetrators of the scheme like to label it. Although the Essex County group clearly crossed the line of simple corruption and entered the realm of purely criminal activities, the local, state, and federal law enforcement authorities, fully aware of the criminal conduct, refuse to intervene and laboriously conceal multi-layered conflicts of interests.” #
The family is under attack in the USA. Our Country’s future as a whole depends on immediate changes from within.
Additionally, addressing the committee’s concerns about the child welfare system’s difficulties in recruiting and retaining a qualified workforce. When workers are forced to remove children from non-abused homes, it takes an emotional toll on those that are in that line of work, to help abused children. How can anyone expect the workers to remain in their current position as kidnappers for very long with out having emotional and internal breakdowns?
In closing, allow this letter to serve as a voice of all legally abused parents and our legally kidnapped children, that it will open the eyes of those with the power to change the status quo.
# About CAPTA: A legislative History- Author(s) Child Welfare Information Gateway
# Citizens Commission on Human Rights
# New York State Division of the Budget: Children and Families Services Office
# Lifting The Veil .org
# For a summary of the risk factors facing children in foster care, see Thomas P. McDonald, Reva I. Allen, Alex Westerfelt, and Irving Piliavin, Assessing the Long-Term Effects of Foster Care: A Research Synthesis (Washington, D.C.: Child Welfare League of America, 1996).
# Parent Alienation Awareness Org.
# Associated Press : Raymond and Vanessa Jackson, 12 million dollar win
# SSRI Stories.com: A collection of over 2100 news stories with full news paper articles
# Groups.msn.com: A collection of links relating to the side effects of psychotropic drugs.
# Homeowners Association: Lynched By The Court