Monday, May 02, 2005

NY City's Administration for Children's Services Under Fire

New York City's Administration for Children's Services (ACS) appears to be similar to Florida's Department of Children and Families (DCF), in that the ACS is the childrens' welfare department, governing over mostly foster kids and kids in homes (almost all of whom are believed to be black or Latino). And apparently since the 1980's (allegedly until 2002), the ACE has a policy that forced HIV positive kids in foster care to submit to clinical drug trials of experimental AIDS drugs. When the story first broke, ACS covered their ass like mad but are now admitting that they will be conducting a review of their policy.

There are a lot of troubling red flags -- some of the trials/protocols called the children/subjects "presumed to be HIV+." There is also no clear evidence that parental or guardian consent was obtained from the foster parent or the city (who share the guardianship of a foster child). ACS approved and enrolled children to be tested even before hospitals approved the specific protocols to be used.

Now there are several federal and non-government-affiliated agencies investigating ACS. The new commissioner of ACS, John Mattingly, claims that it is not ACS who made the blunder-- that it was ACS' predecessor -- the Human Resources Administration. It was Mattingly who came on board in 2004 and started an internal investigation.

There seem to be no clear answers other than indications that it was widespread -- most of the city's hospitals were involved in the program. Some big pharm. corp. have been alleged to have been involved, even accused of putting kids in foster care whose parents would not agree to the treatment.

How many children? Originally ACS said 78. Now they're saying they think maybe 465. Maybe more.
How young were some of these kids?
Three months old.

Are we ever going to know what really happened?
Probably not.

Democracy Now! story link here


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