Author Topic: Center's Troubled Teens 'Assaulted With Needles,'  (Read 1121 times)

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Offline Anonymous

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Center's Troubled Teens 'Assaulted With Needles,'
« on: October 18, 2008, 11:58:18 PM »
Center's Troubled Teens 'Assaulted With Needles,' Officials Say

By JON LENDER | The Hartford Courant

October 18, 2008

Teens being treated for drug abuse and mental illness at Stonington Institute have been involuntarily injected with medication to restrain them in what the state attorney general and child advocate Friday called another example of poor supervision by the Department of Children and Families.

At least five boys aged about 16 received such involuntary injections, while aides held them immobile, at the DCF-licensed private residential facility in North Stonington during a two-month period this past spring, state Child Advocate Jeanne Milstein said Friday after she and Attorney General Richard Blumenthal sent a letter filled with criticism to DCF.

Milstein said the youths were considered "out of control" at the time that they were injected.

If DCF had been properly overseeing what goes on at Stonington, "the practice of involuntary intramuscular medication would have been discovered sooner and fewer children assaulted with needles," Milstein and Blumenthal wrote to DCF Commissioner Susan Hamilton.

The practice of involuntary injections has been halted, and no lasting harm to the youths was reported, but "once again we see evidence of DCF's inability to demand and oversee the delivery of effective, safe services for children," Milstein and Blumenthal wrote.

Stonington Institute executives could not be reached late Friday.

However, a spokesman for DCF, Gary Kleeblatt, said the agency handled the situation promptly and effectively.

"DCF quality improvement staff discovered the use of the involuntary administration of medication, and our medical staff responded by going to Stonington to instruct them to immediately discontinue this practice, which involved a few instances," Kleeblatt said.

"We also called in the executive director of Stonington's corporate parent, as well as Stonington's chief executive officer, to emphasize that this was unacceptable and to get assurance that the policy would be changed. The practice is no longer being used, and the psychiatrist who was involved in the involuntary administration is no longer employed at Stonington."

Friday's criticism of DCF by Blumenthal and Milstein came almost on the eve of Monday's planned investigative hearing by two legislative committees into DCF operations.

Angry legislators decided to hold Monday's hearing after a summer of news stories about problems, including the death of an infant who was a foster child under a DCF worker's care and rising costs and the use of potentially dangerous restraints at the DCF-run Riverview psychiatric hospital for children in Middletown.

Friday's letter represented preliminary findings from an ongoing investigation by Milstein and Blumenthal into operations at Stonington Institute, which has come under state scrutiny for problems in past years.

In 2006, DCF officials stopped sending children to the treatment center for teenage boys and girls, which is run by former state Sen. William Aniskovich, after receiving reports of a high number of children running away from the program.

DCF resumed sending them briefly, but stopped again in 2007 because of further problems.

The facility now houses fewer than 20 children, about half of whom were sent there by DCF, according to Milstein's office. Stonington Institute has been receiving several million dollars annually from the state.

Milstein and Blumenthal said in Friday's letter to Hamilton that their current inquiry into Stonington Institute is in its "preliminary stages," but they are already "gravely concerned about the safety and care of the children who remain in residence there despite chronic program deficiencies that have long been identified by DCF. ... Our preliminary assessment shows clearly that Stonington Institute's programs for children are very troubled and that DCF has known of these severe problems for some time."

They said that "over a period of years DCF has found serious deficiencies in Stonington's therapeutic program, including inadequate staffing, high staff turnover, ... lack of training, poor communication [and] inadequate supervision."

Earlier this month, Milstein's office delivered a highly critical report on DCF's supervision of the now closed, privately run Lake Grove residential treatment center that the DCF had licensed in Durham.

She said the failings that led DCF to remove its client children from Lake Grove had occurred at other DCF-supervised treatment facilities and now history may be repeating itself at Stonington Institute.

DCF's Kleeblatt said the department "has required Stonington to develop and implement a corrective action plan to address issues related to the treatment program and environment, staffing and supervision. This plan is closely monitored by DCF from both a program and licensing perspective."

"As a result, we have seen significant improvements in the treatment program, including individual, group and family therapy, and staff have been trained in both behavior management and in the treatment program, which is a nationally recognized ... model for substance-abusing adolescents. Stonington also has implemented quality improvement and staff communication protocols to ensure that staff and supervisors are aware of incidents and trends. We have seen that incidents are trending down. Finally, staff supervision has improved."

He said DCF officials "will continue our oversight and consultation, and to monitor and evaluate the status of the program and our plan. We share concerns about Stonington and are carefully monitoring the program."

http://http://www.courant.com/news/local/hc-dcfstonington1018.artoct18,0,2072169.story
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline wdtony

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Re: Center's Troubled Teens 'Assaulted With Needles,'
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2008, 05:17:06 AM »
Hopefully the Stonington Institute gets shut down and the DCF stays on the ropes enough to toe the line. Regulating agencies are just as guilty if they do nothing to stop alleged abuse, or at the very least conduct a THOROUGH investigation.

Good to see the incidents being reported.

This sounds familiar, "Stonington Institute executives could not be reached late Friday." Man....they sure can be reached when someone wants to put the kid in their program and willing to pay big bucks for it, but when they are questioned about what they actually do, they can't be reached. How odd?

I know, preachin to the choir.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
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Offline Anonymous

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Re: Center's Troubled Teens 'Assaulted With Needles,'
« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2008, 08:54:34 PM »
Quote
Saturday, October 18, 2008

More institutionalized abuse in Connecticut

An earlier post to this Blog discussed the fact that the State of Connecticut spends great gobs of money on child welfare, while still managing to produce consistently lousy results. The reason: So much of the money is wasted warehousing children in institutions. Another example came to light today, reports The Hartford Courant, as the state Child Advocate and the state Attorney General issued another scathing report on another abusive institution. This time, the practice in question was holding children down and subjecting them to forced intramuscular injections of drugs to make them easier to control. The report says the children were "assaulted with needles."

The state Department of Children and Families replies that there were only "a few" cases. (According to the Courant, the report documents 16 incidents) and, have no fear, they've required a "corrective action plan." That'll teach 'em to mistreat kids! But the Attorney General and the Child Advocate say the institution has been plagued with problems for years.

But even the Advocate and the A.G. are missing the point. The problem isn't just abusive institutions. The problem is that institutionalization is inherently abusive residential treatment simply doesn't work. Even if every institution were staffed by people who had the best intentions, had the best possible training and did the best they could, children still would be harmed and, secondarily, a lot of taxpayer money still would be squandered.

Posted by NATIONAL COALITION FOR CHILD PROTECTION REFORM at 10:53 PM

http://http://www.nccpr.blogspot.com/
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline Anonymous

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Re: Center's Troubled Teens 'Assaulted With Needles,'
« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2009, 12:31:02 AM »
Is this practice illegal? Along with other abuses I witnessed during my inpatient stay at the KU medical center in Missouri it was common practice for upset children to be restrained to tables with straps and then injected with sedatives. This was done to children from 10-15 years old and to even a girl who I knew to be a rape victim of her father who was held down by 4 grown men, restrained, and sedated.. I will keep from going into all the details of what went on when I was there, but this was simply supposed to be an inpatient psychiatric facility to monitor me during medications and threatened but not performed shock treatment.. There were wards of the state there from social services also among other kids. Anyways I was simply wondering. Thanks.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »