Florida refuses to aid 16-year-old abuse victim

A 16-year-old girl has been taken into the custody of the state after she was repeatedly molested by her father and her grandfather.  The child has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, the same illness seen in many combat veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

State therapists say that she is in need of residential psychiatric care however State healthcare administrators refuse to pay for stating that the girl is a drug addict and not a child in need of mental healthcare.

Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Michael Hanzman, a children’s advocate, is accusing the Agency for Health Care Administration of utilizing ineffective mental health evaluations to avoid providing basic psychiatric services for children in state care.

AHCA was criticized recently for cutting the budget for in-home care to severely disabled children so much that some parents have been forced to move their children to geriatric nursing homes. The agency has been accusing of utilizing capricious criteria to produce a smaller bottom line.

Hanzman believes that the system operates in a manner that shirks the responsibility the state has to foster children. Often time’s victims of deplorable abuse suffer from severe mental illness such as depression or PTSD. These children will often turn to drugs and alcohol to self-medicate. When these children are evaluated by the state their primary diagnosis is that of a drug addict.

This allows the state to refuse treatment because while there are plenty of beds available children in need of psychiatric care, there are few reserved for residential drug treatment.

A spokeswoman for the AHCA had refused to discuss Hanzman’s comments.

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