Lawsuit claims state improperly gave foster kids psychotropic drugs

3 years 3 weeks 3 days ago Tuesday, June 13 2017 Jun 13, 2017 Tuesday, June 13, 2017 3:01:00 PM CDT June 13, 2017 in News
By: Max Cotton, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

JEFFERSON CITY – A St. Louis attorney said the Missouri Department of Social Services denied the rights of nearly 13,000 foster kids. Attorney John Ammann, of the St. Louis University School of Law Legal Clinics, along with Children's Rights and the National Center for Youth Law, filed a class-action lawsuit in federal court Monday claiming the Department of Social Services Children's Division improperly dispensed psychotropic drugs to foster children without adequate oversight.

"Too many children who are in foster care are receiving too many drugs too early in their life and in too large a dose," Ammann said.

The suit was filed in U.S. District Court, Western District of Missouri, Central Division, which is based in Jefferson City.

The suit alleges Jennifer Tidball, Acting State Director for the Department of Social Services, and Tim Decker, Director of the Children's Division, violated Missouri's foster children's 14th Amendment right to be free from harm while in state custody.

According to the complaint, the Department of Social Services often administered psychotropic drugs for ADHD and conduct disorders, which they are not designed to treat.

The lawsuit stated, "They are often administered as chemical straight-jackets, used to control the behavior of foster children."

Ammann said the goal is to create an oversight system of medical professionals to oversee psychotropic drug prescriptions for foster children and to create an online system of medical records for kids in foster care that are easily accessible.
 
"We need a system of checks-and-balances to make sure kids are not being over-medicated," he said. 
 
Ammann said the suit is not asking for monetary damages.
 
The Department of Social Services declined to comment.

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA—The topic of police reform dominated the public comment portion of Monday’s Columbia City Council meeting. ... More >>
40 minutes ago Tuesday, July 07 2020 Jul 7, 2020 Tuesday, July 07, 2020 10:00:44 AM CDT July 07, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia City Council voted 6-1 in favor of the mandatory mask ordinance Monday night. The order will go... More >>
9 hours ago Tuesday, July 07 2020 Jul 7, 2020 Tuesday, July 07, 2020 12:46:00 AM CDT July 07, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA -The community came together Monday night to remember victims of a double homicide . People came together in... More >>
12 hours ago Monday, July 06 2020 Jul 6, 2020 Monday, July 06, 2020 10:23:00 PM CDT July 06, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA -- Monday Governor Mike Parson signed HB 2046. Inside the omnibus bill was coroner training reform Jay Minor's... More >>
15 hours ago Monday, July 06 2020 Jul 6, 2020 Monday, July 06, 2020 7:13:00 PM CDT July 06, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY —Gov. Mike Parson will sign an omnibus bill that increases prison sentences and eliminates probation for certain violent... More >>
16 hours ago Monday, July 06 2020 Jul 6, 2020 Monday, July 06, 2020 6:14:00 PM CDT July 06, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA — Columbia police have arrested a 16 year old boy in connection to a shooting that resulted in a... More >>
16 hours ago Monday, July 06 2020 Jul 6, 2020 Monday, July 06, 2020 6:09:00 PM CDT July 06, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA — A University of Maryland administrator and head of fundraising will be MU's next vice chancellor for advancement,... More >>
17 hours ago Monday, July 06 2020 Jul 6, 2020 Monday, July 06, 2020 5:25:36 PM CDT July 06, 2020 in News
MISSOURI — As COVID-19 continues to spread throughout Missouri, state and local officials confirm new case counts daily. ... More >>
17 hours ago Monday, July 06 2020 Jul 6, 2020 Monday, July 06, 2020 5:00:00 PM CDT July 06, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA —The Columbia/Boone County Health Department trained 15 city employees in contact tracing Monday. But the county is still at... More >>
17 hours ago Monday, July 06 2020 Jul 6, 2020 Monday, July 06, 2020 4:50:00 PM CDT July 06, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A free community COVID-19 testing event will be held July 7-9 in Cole County at the former... More >>
18 hours ago Monday, July 06 2020 Jul 6, 2020 Monday, July 06, 2020 4:39:00 PM CDT July 06, 2020 in News
KANSAS CITY- Patrick Mahomes has signed a 10-year contract extension with the Kansas City Chiefs. This new contract will keep... More >>
18 hours ago Monday, July 06 2020 Jul 6, 2020 Monday, July 06, 2020 4:11:00 PM CDT July 06, 2020 in News
BELLE —Police charged two suspects with assault Monday after a man was found with serious injuries. Police arrested 21... More >>
19 hours ago Monday, July 06 2020 Jul 6, 2020 Monday, July 06, 2020 3:03:00 PM CDT July 06, 2020 in News
As COVID-19 continues to spread, KOMU 8 will continue to update you about impacts in the community. You can... More >>
20 hours ago Monday, July 06 2020 Jul 6, 2020 Monday, July 06, 2020 2:34:00 PM CDT July 06, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Emotions over mask-wearing mandates are high. KOMU spoke to MU Health Care infectious disease doctor, Dr. Christelle Ilboudo,... More >>
20 hours ago Monday, July 06 2020 Jul 6, 2020 Monday, July 06, 2020 2:00:00 PM CDT July 06, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Former Missouri basketball star Laurence Bowers kicked off his sixth annual basketball camp on Monday with the largest... More >>
21 hours ago Monday, July 06 2020 Jul 6, 2020 Monday, July 06, 2020 12:59:00 PM CDT July 06, 2020 in Sports
COLUMBIA— Brian Weimer, major of operations with the MU Police Department, has been named interim chief of MUPD, according to... More >>
21 hours ago Monday, July 06 2020 Jul 6, 2020 Monday, July 06, 2020 12:52:14 PM CDT July 06, 2020 in News
MISSOURI - The Missouri State Highway Patrol released its 2020 4th of July incident numbers in a news release Monday.... More >>
22 hours ago Monday, July 06 2020 Jul 6, 2020 Monday, July 06, 2020 12:02:00 PM CDT July 06, 2020 in News
As COVID-19 continues to spread, KOMU 8 will continue to update you about impacts in the community. You can... More >>
23 hours ago Monday, July 06 2020 Jul 6, 2020 Monday, July 06, 2020 11:02:00 AM CDT July 06, 2020 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 86°
11am 90°
12pm 92°
1pm 92°
2pm 91°