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A recent study on the state database of foster-care records by the Florida Department of Children and Families discovered that 13 percent of their State’s foster children were being given powerful psychiatric drugs, some of which are not approved by the FDA for use on children.

The study was commissioned partially in response to the suicide death of a 7-year-old boy that hung himself in the shower of his foster home in April. Florida child advocates have complained that shift-care workers at group homes have relied heavily on mental health drugs to control behavior, particularly in older foster children. The recent study corroborated this suspicion—children in foster homes are far more likely to be given mental-health drugs than children living with relatives. Even more troublingly is that investigators found no parental or judicial consent for some of the children that were given psychiatric drugs.

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