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State probes apparent suicide of foster child, 7

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State probes apparent suicide of foster child, 7

A work group has been appointed to investigate factors leading up to a 7-year-old foster child's apparent suicide.


BY CAROL MARBIN MILLER
cmarbin@MiamiHerald.com



Gabriel Myers, the 7-year-old Broward boy who hanged himself in
the shower of his foster home.


Florida's top child-welfare administrator has appointed a work group to look into the April 16 death of Gabriel Myers, the 7-year-old boy who took his own life at a Broward County foster home after a stormy nine-month odyssey through the state foster-care system.

At the top of the priority list for Department of Children & Families Secretary George Sheldon will be an examination of the state's reliance on psychiatric drugs for children in state care.

`CHEMICAL RESTRAINTS'

The issue has troubled the department since the early 2000s, when a Broward child advocate claimed the drugs were being used as ''chemical restraints'' on unruly children.

Sheldon has asked …