More children in protective services

TROUBLING TREND: More children are being affected by ice use.
TROUBLING TREND: More children are being affected by ice use. BrianAJackson

A GROWING number of children are in protective custody because of ice use, new State Government statistics reveal.

The data shows the trend identified last year is continuing, and an increased number of children have gone into care as a result of parental drug use.

In the year up to March, 782 children needed protection as a result of one or both of their parents using methamphetamine, up from 749 children in the year to December.

Child Safety Minister Shannon Fentiman revealed the new figures as part of the March quarterly data report.

Ms Fentiman said the figures showed how rapidly the drug ice damages families and leaves vulnerable children at risk.

"The data shows that the majority of children where parental ice use was recorded the parent had only recently started abusing the drug,” Ms Fentiman said.

"This shows just how devastating this drug is and that is why we are doing so much to target the use of this particular drug so we can tackle it head-on.”

Among these families, methamphetamine use was more common than abuse of any other drug, including alcohol.

Ten years ago alcohol was the most abused substance, followed by marijuana and heroin.

The new data underlined the importance of a broad community effort focused on child safety, with referrals from a range of sources.

"Ice use continues to be a problem and more parents are being tested so we can identify those causing harm,” Ms Fentiman said.

Topics:  child protection drugs and alcohol ice addiction increasing

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