Parents of children viewed as ‘at risk’ will undergo drug tests under new laws to try to combat child abuse in some parts of Australia.
Under the programs, families where children are viewed as being ‘at risk’ will be visited by specialists who will assess the drug abuse and domestic violence problems in the said families.
The drug testing strategy, called Multisystemic Therapy, targets families with children aged six to 17. It aims to help 100 families a year, and giving them 24 hour access to crisis experts.
Implemented in August, the programs are aimed at families at high risk of losing their kids, or who want their children back but their case work has failed.
Among the areas targeted for the intensive stream are Coffs Harbour, Dubbo, Tamworth, Wyong and the Edgeworth and Macarthur.
Specialists, such as psychologists and psychiatrists, will assess around 800 families a year for crisis management under the less intensive strategy or the Functional Family Therapy, which is for families with newborns to 17-year-olds.
Minister for Family and Community Services Pru Goward explained that the programs aim to address the problems of every family.
“We want to work with the whole family to keep them together, but to break the cycle of abuse and neglect we need to address their complex needs to make a real difference,” she told the Daily Telegraph. “Through our landmark child protection reform, Their Futures Matter, we are creating a system that delivers strong evidence-based programs and services based on the needs of children and their families.”