Warehoused: Inappropriate Institutionalization of Texas Foster Youth.
Mitchell, Beth. Gibson, Cindy. Champion, Cassandra. Foster, Victoria.
Disability Rights Texas.
Published: March 2019
Disability Rights Texas
TX Tel: 1-800-252-9108 (request services) (512) 454-4816 (headquarters)
This report explains there are a number of foster youth who were initially admitted to psychiatric hospitals for five- to seven-day emergency stays in Texas, but have remained for months after professionals determined they were ready for discharge. Findings are then reported from an investigation into scope of the problem and factors leading to the problem of unnecessary hospitalization of foster youth. Findings indicate that at least a third of foster youth who enter psychiatric families remain unnecessarily hospitalized for months beyond medical necessity; there is a lack of oversight of foster youth hospital admissions; there is an inappropriate assessment process; there is no attempt to identify less restrictive alternatives; there is a lack of involvement by Department of Family Protective Services (DFPS) caseworkers; and there is an inappropriate discharge process. Recommendations are made and include: require that a psychiatrist assess foster youth prior to admission to inpatient care, prohibit DFPS from voluntarily admitting foster youth to psychiatric hospitals, prohibit DFPS from using child-specific contracts to unnecessarily keep a foster youth hospitalized after they no longer meet commitment criteria, increase involvement of DFPS judges and attorneys ad litem, develop alternatives to inpatient treatment, and identify and/or develop alternative placement approaches. 46 references.
foster adolescents; institutional abuse and neglect; institutionalized children; psychiatric hospitals; children with disabilities; mental disorders; behavior problems; mental health; childrens rights; Texas