Foster Care

Mother Files Claim Against County After Son Dies From Drug Overdose in Group Home

The county placed the teen in foster care so he could receive treatment while living in a group home

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The mother of a teen who died from a drug overdose while in a state-licensed group home is trying to get the treatment program shut down.

Isaiah Shane, 18, had a sickness, according to his mother, Amanda Shane -- A drug addiction so severe that after he was hospitalized, the county placed him in the foster care system so that he could receive treatment through Circle of Friends.

Isaiah was found unresponsive inside a group home on Pinehurst Avenue in Escondido on May 3, according to a claim filed against the county by the family’s attorney. He died from a drug overdose.

Through a spokesperson, Escondido Police Chief Ed Varso said the group home cannot continue to run under its current conditions, and said if things don’t improve he’d like the state to shut it down.

The home has had 344 emergency calls since 2016, according to EPD.

Isaiah's family gathered Tuesday to share their concerns about the facility and call for its end

“It is imperative that every child within the custody of San Diego County or the state of California be kept alive and be given proper medical and mental health care as their rights as human beings,” Amanda Shane said.

“What kind of protection was the county talking about when they took Isaiah from his mother, and then Isaiah ended up dying in the care of the county?” family advocate Shane Harris said. “I want to know what kind of protection was the county talking about.”

NBC 7 reached out to Circle of Friends and their board of directors for comment but has not heard back.

A spokesperson from the county said they do not comment on pending litigation, but they will not be referring any more kids to Circle of Friends at this time.

The county acknowledged the long list of issues at the facility and said the issue isn't a lack of care for the kids, but a struggle to find the right staff to give the care the teens really need.

The Shane family is seeking $1 million in damages. The county has 45 days to respond to the claim. If it’s denied, the family will be filing a wrongful death lawsuit.

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