Pennsylvania mother Jessica Battiato is frustrated with a doctor and a system that refuses to look for the medical cause of her baby's condition, instead placing the blame on the parents. Since her son Cesar, now 5 months old, was taken by child protective services 2 months ago, her son has been diagnosed with rickets and hypotonia by a radiology expert. However, CPS seized custody of Cesar in April, based on accusations by Penn State child abuse specialist, Dr. Kathryn Crowell, that Cesar's injuries could only be caused by abuse. Dr. Crowell has been accused of falsely testifying against parents before. In a 2009 case she accused a parent of child abuse which led to a father spending over a year in jail. A jury later found him not guilty. Jessica wants answers for her baby, and she wants her baby back home, not in a foster home. "My son needs medical attention. He doesn't need to be neglected by the state."
Children in foster care in Pennsylvania are at least three times as likely as other children to receive drugs used to treat mental illness. That’s the conclusion of research released today at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and the results have public health officials concerned. Researchers found that while about 15 percent of all children covered by Medicaid receive psychotropic drugs — drugs that work on their brains — about 45 percent of those in foster care do. State human services secretary Ted Dallas says it’s true that kids in foster care may have greater mental health needs because of the trauma that got them in the system, but he says the disparity indicates that over-medication is taking place. “To think that we’re compounding that damage (of foster care placement) by inappropriately prescribing medication to these kids is deeply disturbing to me and is simply unacceptable,” he said.