THE Queensland Government has announced it will invest more than $5.4 million in a new program to help parents hooked on crystal meth get clean and look after their children.
Child Safety Minister Di Farmer said the new ‘Breakthrough for Families’ program was aimed at helping families in remote and regional communities break the cycle of addiction.
Ms Farmer said methamphetamine use caused rapid damage within families and is having a huge impact on child safety.
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“Almost one in three children coming in to the care of the Department having a parent with a current or previous methamphetamine problem, usually ice,” Mr Farmer said.
“These people need specialist help if they aspire to being good parents to their children.”
Mr Farmer said most of the harm done is to children under the age of five and usually happens less than a year after the parent starts using.
She said Apunipima Cape York Health Service, Lives Lived Well, Drug Arm and Bridges Aligned Service Inc would work together to deliver the new program.
The Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council has also been brought on board to support delivery in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
“It is about connecting them to support services so they have improved capacity to care for their loved ones, most importantly their children,” Ms Farmer said.
“This will include individual support sessions with families as well as public workshops, and forums.”
The program will target Cape York, Townsville, Cairns, the Sunshine Coast, Logan and Caboolture, Mackay, Darling Downs, West Moreton and South West, and the Wide Bay regions.