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Tue Jul 16, 2019, 05:18 AM

Settlement lays out big changes in use of psychotropic drugs in foster children

A settlement in a federal lawsuit against the Missouri Department of Social Services and its Children's Division for its failure to adequately supervise the use of psychotropic medications in foster children was given preliminary approval by U.S. District Court Judge Nanette Laughrey on Monday.

The civil rights action, M.B. v. Corsi, is the first federal class-action lawsuit in the U.S. focused on the use of psychotropic medications among youth in foster care, according to St. Louis University School of Law, which filed the case through its Legal Clinics with the law firm Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, Children’s Rights and the National Center for Youth Law. The suit was filed on behalf of all minor children and youth who are or will be placed in Missouri foster care.

An estimated 13,000 children are in Missouri’s foster care system.

Filed in 2017, the suit alleged that Jennifer Tidball, acting state director for the Department of Social Services, and Tim Decker, director of the Children’s Division, unlawfully allowed children to be placed on psychotropic drugs without safeguards in place — a violation of a child’s 14th Amendment right to be free from harm while in state custody.


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