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