Statements and Speeches

WASHINGTON – Today, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), a member of the Senate Finance Committee, released the following statement regarding the committee’s hearing on “No Place to Grow Up: How to Safely Reduce Reliance on Foster Care Group Homes. 

“I want to thank Chairman Hatch and Ranking Member Wyden for calling this hearing, and their efforts to shed light on the issues facing our country’s foster care system. It is crucial that we continue working toward improved access to quality care for foster children, one of our most vulnerable populations.

“I have long been concerned about the over-prescribing of mind-altering medications to foster children enrolled in Medicaid. Research has shown that these medicines, which in some cases are given against best medical practices, are often prescribed at higher rates in the group homes that are the topic of today’s hearing.

“While psychotropic drugs might mitigate symptoms of emotional trauma, abuse or neglect experienced by foster children, they do not treat their underlying causes. I am pleased that many states have made progress in using alternative treatments, like behavioral and cognitive therapies, that help foster children manage negative thoughts and emotions safely, and on a long-term basis. But as today’s hearing shows, more work must be done to improve access to quality care for children inside and out of group homes.

“The Book of Matthew reminds us to care especially for the ‘least of these’ in society, and we are obligated to taxpayers to do this in a fiscally responsible way as we seek to better the lives of American foster children.”