Parents to undergo drug tests if they want to keep kids

AN EXTRA 10 frontline child safety workers have hit the ground in Ipswich as part of a continued push to keep Queensland kids safe.

Child Safety Minister Shannon Fentiman said seven Child Safety Officers and a Child Safety Support Officer are now on the frontline in Ipswich and Springfield

"Our dedicated and hard-working child safety staff have one of the toughest jobs in the state," she said.

"These additional workers in Ipswich will help existing child safety workers to investigate more cases of at-risk children and support kids who are already in care."

Member for Ipswich Jennifer Howard said among the 10 extra staff are three Child Safety Officers in the Springfield Child Safety Service centre, two in Ipswich South, one in the Ipswich centre and an additional officer and frontline senior team leader in the Ipswich North Service centre.

"Springfield now has an additional Child Safety Support Officer and Ipswich has gained an additional Family Group Worker providing frontline services," she said.

Child Safety Minister Shannon Fentiman
Child Safety Minister Shannon Fentiman

Ms Fentiman said these extra staff will go even further towards helping improve child safety in Queensland, which is already turning a corner.

"The latest September 2016 quarterly data shows clear improvements on investigation timelines despite child safety being busier than ever," she said.

Alarmingly, the data revealed more than one in three children coming into care have a parent who has tested positive to using ice.

"That is why we have implemented tough new mandatory drug testing for parents who want to keep their kids," she said.

"Since late last year, parents have been required to undergo drug testing for any Intervention with Parental Agreement- in particular for ice use - if they want to keep their children."

Ms Fentiman said more than 100 of the 129 additional positions promised last year have now been filled across Queensland with the rest expected to be filled early this year.

"We are committed to making sure that child safety officers across the state have the resources they need to keep children safe," Ms Fentiman said.

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