In most cases – 78.1 per cent, or 809 children – the type of methamphetamine was ice.

Most of the children affected by their parents using ice were under the age of five (56.2 per cent).

In some areas of Queensland, more than half the children who came into care had one or both parents with recorded use of methamphetamine.

And the problem is getting worse.

Compared with 13 years ago, rates have risen of parental alcohol and drug abuse, domestic violence, criminal history and mental illness in households with children who had a substantiated case of harm.

But Minister for Children Leanne Linard said despite an increasing workload, her department was keeping up with demand by beginning and completing more investigations.

The number of investigations begun by Child Safety in 2019-20 increased more than 10 per cent, or 25,621 in total, compared with the previous year.

The number of investigations finalised last year increased almost 9 per cent.

Ms Linard said the rate of Queensland children who had harm substantiated in recent years remained stable, at 5.6 for every 1000 children.

On average, Child Safety officers handled 18.1 cases each in June 2020, down from 20.3 in June 2014.


Child Safety officers work about 7.6 hours, on average, from Monday to Friday, 1.62 hours on Saturdays and six hours on Sundays, according to figures released during budget estimates.

Children and Youth Justice Department director-general Deidre Mulkerin said she was worried about the number of hours worked on Sundays.

“Because the business hours for Child Safety officers are during the week,” she said.

“It does indicate that a lot of my frontline colleagues are actually working overtime on a Sunday.

“We do provide support out of hours. The after-hours service centre provides support across the state out of hours.

“I will be looking at workload, availability and how we respond to the community every day of the week.”

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