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Parents will have their children taken away from them if they fail new mandatory drug tests in Queensland.

Child Safety Minister, Shannon Fentiman, announced the new testing regime today, following the release of an internal report into the death of Caboolture toddler Mason Jet Lee, reports 9 news.

Under the plan, parents who enter into an Intervention with Parental Agreement (IPA) order with child safety authorities must submit to being drug-tested by general practitioners.

If the affected parents fail or miss tests, their children will be removed and put in foster care.

The tests will not be limited to ice, but the drug is central to the policy, with Ms Fentiman stating that it presents a major challenge for child safety officers.

Mason Lee, aged 21 months, was the subject of an IPA before he died at the home of his mother’s boyfriend, William Andrew O’Sullivan, in June.

Ms Fentiman did not mention Mason’s case in announcing the drug testing regime, but AAP understands it is part of the government’s response to the case.

She said the testing regime would give child safety officers another tool to help keep at-risk kids safe.

“If the information suggests that there is ice use, and the children are unsafe, we will remove the children,” Ms Fentiman told ABC radio.

“It will be up to the discretion of the child safety officer and it will depend on whether or not there is a history of drug use, or what sort of suspicions we hold.”

Yesterday, a fourth child safety worker was stood down pending an ethical standards investigation over Mason’s death, another nine face disciplinary proceedings..

Ms Fentiman has admitted a 300-page internal report into the child safety department’s handling of the case exposed “serious errors of judgment” on behalf of staff.

Does this need testing need to be made a national ruling?

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  • This should be Australia wide. Some will disagree with me.

    Reply

  • There has also been babies who have died from overdose when somebody has put it in a baby’s bottle to help them sleep. Ambulance paramedics gave cpr on the way to the hospital and continued until hospital staff opened the ambulance door and watched in horror while they continued while wheeling the baby into the hospital. Nurses cope well emotionallywith an older child or adult but not a small baby. I believe they should not only test the parents and others living in the house but babies too. Pregnant women should be put in rehab if the medical professionals know drugs are being used. Some effect the health of the baby, some until the child is a few years old. Some time ago there was an article about a relative had legal custody of her grandson about 7 y.o. who was still having problems caused by his Mother taking drugs during her entire pregnancy.

    Reply

  • Any and all steps to keep children safe should be taken.

    Reply

  • This needs to be a unified law across Australia, all kids in drug user households are in potential danger – especially if the user is doing ice

    Please Federal Govt get this sorted to protect everyone across Australia – make it right

    Reply

  • There are so many ice users in Australia and a lot of kids are at risk. This plan will surely help a lot of kids in difficult family situations. It would be great if it wasn’t just in Queensland though!

    Reply

  • Good!
    The only people who would be opposed are those who like to use drugs.

    Reply

  • that sounds fine but have they thought of all the children and the foster care that we do not have ,

    Reply

  • I definitely think this should be nation wide!!

    Reply

  • It is a shame it has come to this in our society.

    Reply

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